Pioneer Days: Axe throwing, quilt show, more

This “signature quilt” from 1901 will be on display, along with other quilts, at Pioneer Days. With this quilt as inspiration, Historical Society members are creating a new signature quilt in blues and whites. A $10 donation gets your name on the new quilt and your name in the drawing for prizes.

(Posted Sept. 14, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

“The event provides a unique opportunity to experience over 150 years of history with a day trip.”

That’s how J.T. Byrd, president of the Madison County Historical Society, describes the society’s upcoming Pioneer Days. The festivities will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 23-24 on the museum grounds, 260 E. High St., London. Admission is free.

All of the society’s buildings will be open for tours, including the museum, Jonathan Alder’s cabin, the Elizabeth Kitchen log house, the one-room school house, the caboose, the blacksmith shop, and the barn filled with antique farm equipment.

Volunteers will demonstrate a wide range of pioneer skills. Among them are blacksmithing, rope making, the firing of flintlock muskets, sewing, leather work, and wool spinning. Members of the King’s American Regiment, a group of military reenactors, will set up camp. Steve Ball returns to perform Civil War-era music. The Madison County Archaeological Society will display and share information about Native American artifacts.

Visitors can try their hand at axe throwing and a variety of games, including: naughts and crosses which is similar to tic-tac-toe; graces, a catch-and-throw game; pall mall, a croquet-like game with a longer field and one wicket; and bumblepuppy which hints at cornhole but involves a ball and a board with nine holes.

A hand-quilted Klimt Tree of Life wall hanging is one of two prizes up for grabs for anyone who enters the quilt show drawing at Pioneer Days. The cost to enter is a $10 donation to the Madison County Historical Society’s signature quilt project.

Several vendors will be on site. Bushnell Bottle Co. will sell glassware, M’Lady’s Treasures will sell jewelry, Debora Cook’s booth will feature paper decorations and filigree (fine wire work), and Friendship Farms will offer goat milk soaps.

Diverging from the pioneer theme but delicious nonetheless, the A&L food truck will serve tacos.

New this year, a quilt show will take place inside the museum. Anyone is welcome to loan a quilt for display. Items may be dropped off between 1 and 4 p.m. Sept. 17 or Sept. 20. For details, contact Annette Rinesmith at (614) 563-1287.

One of the quilts to be displayed is a “signature quilt” made in 1901 by women from Summerford and London. Patrons paid 10 cents to have their names embroidered on the petals in the quilt’s floral design. Historical Society members Ginnie Myers Morgan and Nancy Robinson are creating a replica of the quilt. Anyone can have their name or the names of loved ones embroidered on the quilt; the cost is $10 per name. The project serves as a fundraiser for the Historical Society. Additionally, everyone who donates will be entered into a drawing for two prizes: a Klimt Tree of Life wall hanging and a 56×56-inch wool throw, both made by Myers Morgan. The drawing will take place at 4 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Pioneer Days.

Byrd invites the public to attend the festival for a good dose of family-friendly fun and education.

“With all of our buildings open and our volunteers engaging with visitors, it’s a unique experience to see everything the Madison County Historical Society has to offer,” he said.

For more information, call (740) 852-2977 or visit “Madison County Historical Society” on Facebook.

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