West Virginia State Farm Museum
Inside the Loom House, during the annual Mason County Extension Quilt Show held in October, there is an astonishing array of beautiful hand-made quilts, the handiwork of many dedicated area women. They bring their work in to be hung all around the walls of the spacious room. Ladies also compete for the honor of having the best quilt in the Show as determined by the votes of people who visit the Quilt Show.
Museum Volunteers and Fort Randolph women meet at the Loom House at least once a week to quilt. The room is well-lit and the Loom House attracts many visitors during the year.
Walden Roush related some interesting history concerning quilts. The origin goes back to the 16th century. They were originally made from old clothes of children that had been handed down through the family.
Crazy quilts were first made of all colors during the period of 1775-1975. As people became more affluent, they were able to purchase new material in special color combinations. Some quilts were made of wool, cotton and silk, all in one quilt. Bolt material was not available until after 1850, and then people were able to purchase many colors.
Mr. Roush stated that pioneer homes were too small to house both a spinning wheel and a loom, so many families built a small house in back called the loom house. In the late 1800ís, many Mason County families raised sheep and spun the wool for their own yarn. Also, many raised flax and would use the fibers to spin linen thread: the women would combine the linen and wool threads and weave them into what they called "linseys-woolseys." This material was used to make clothes for the family.
The Museum Loom House was constructed in 1984 by the Jeffers brothers of Southside. All material for the building was donated. The building has a small front porch with steps and ramp.
Pictures and information were provided by West Virginia State Farm Museum
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