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Quilt returns nearly 1,500 miles home to Pine River

Information sought on quilt group.

Quilt with names (1).JPG
Polly Siltman is one of 16 names found on a quilt from 1935. Returned to Pine River in May 2022, Heritage Group North is looking for help learning about it.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
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PINE RIVER — A quilt completed June 6, 1935, by at least 15 local women has made a long journey from Washington state to Pine River, where it will be on display for a time at the Historic Pine River Railway Depot.

Gert Davies, from Washington, wanted the quilt to return to Pine River where her mother, Polly Siltman, sewed it, along with an unnamed quilting group, presumably near Blind Lake Township where Siltman lived.

Davies' niece, Sue Oberfell, still a local connection, brought the quilt to Heritage Group North.

"My grandma made the quilt," Oberfell said. "Polly was involved in a quilter's club, a ladies quilting bee, I suppose. They all embroidered the same butterfly on a square, then signed and embroidered their name. For some reason Polly had the quilt. Maybe they made 12. I don't know."

Quilt with names (2).JPG
This quilt, composed of 30 butterflies made almost identical by members of an unknown quilt group, returned to Pine River from Washington state in May 2022.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

Davies felt the quilt should be back among the community where it was made.

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"She wrote and said it should belong in this area, not with one of her kids who doesn't even know anyone on it," Oberfell said.

Not much is known about the quilt. Davies didn't know the name of the possible quilting group or much about the women involved.

The names on the quilt are: Marie Kruckow, Daisy Jurk, Anna Sjostrom, Mae Marsh, Marie Olson, Margaret Marsh, Amanda Hutton, Mildred Olson, Polly Siltman, Esther Shepard, Ida Graham, Gizella Prorencher, Lily Westfall, Flora Bates, Winnie Burgett and Cecilia Riley.

Heritage Group North and Davies would both like to know more about the quilt - the women who made it and the group they were in - as well as whether this is the only quilt or if they all got one.

Some of the names on the quilt are found in local history books, and HGN President Bev Kramp is related to Marie Kruckow.

Kramp hopes someone knows something about the quilt. Likewise, anything they learn about it will be passed along to Davies, who waits patiently for more of the quilt's story.

The quilt will be on display in the ladies' waiting room of the depot. Heritage Group North will discuss other display options, including possible inclusion in local quilt shows.

Kramp said they are wary about transporting and rehanging the quilt in different places.

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Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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