3663 Crab Orchard Road Tazewell

Historic Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park
Written By Historic Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park

The Historic Crab Orchard Museum is an educational institution whose mission is to identify, collect, preserve, interpret, and promote the diverse Appalachian cultural heritage of Southwest Virginia and the surrounding region.

In the 19th century, women (and some men) of all social levels made coverlets. These objects clearly served a useful purpose as bed coverings, but they became ornamental items. In an era when people were constantly on the move, pushing west to settle new frontiers, bed coverings – necessary and easily portable items – might be one of the few decorative objects to be found in a home.

Coverlets were often made as gifts to celebrate a marriage or the birth of a child. Coverlets were woven in many different patterns and colors. Wool was usually handspun and dyed with natural dyes. These textiles were largely woven in the home by skilled weavers until the late 1800s when mills began producing them. The black and white coverlet uses natural wool from black sheep and white sheep with no dyes to create an interesting pattern.

This bride’s blanket chest is painted poplar and has a Pennsylvania design. The lid and base are replacements and the drawers originally had pulls. It was owned by Barbara Spangler Fox, originally of Cripple Creek, Wythe County, Virginia. She married Methias Fox on February 18, 1802 and lived in Burke’s Garden, Virginia. Such a chest would have held linens, bedcoverings, quilts and items a bride would need to start and keep a household.

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Crab Orchard Museum Permanent Gallery Exhibits, Pt. 2


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