The museum’s collection is full of everyday items that illustrate life in West Central Illinois. We are grateful when someone decides to donate an artifact, and after a review to determine if the item has a connection to the region, we commit to its care and preservation. Creating a collection that articulates the region’s tradition and culture is a thoughtful and ongoing process. Each artifact selected for the collection is a treasure the museum works to ensure will be available to guide the next generation and inform their future decisions.

Old Settlers_1905_detailFrom the Collection: Photograph of the Old Settlers Club

Above is a detail from a recently donated photograph that records the 1905 meeting of the Old Settlers Club. The men would meet outside the J. F. Grier Furniture Store located at 120-22 North Lafayette Street or what was known as Chandler Block. The store owner provided seating for the gentlemen and encouraged a photographer from the Gaites Studio to take a photo of the group, which included an advertisement for his store prominently displayed.  Read more about the club in our Artifact of the Month article or with display at the museum.

Buckeye number 10 crock
Buckeye number 10 crock

From the Collection: Buckeye Crock

The Macomb Journal reported on August 24, 1882 that Buckeye Pottery located at 405 West Carroll Street was “open and operational.”  Founded by Washington Joseph Pech and his father, Joseph Pech, the company produced butter churns, crocks, and jugs of various sizes.  Pots were marked with J. Pech & Sons until the early 1900s when the “Blue Ribbon Brand” logo was introduced. By 1938 the business declared bankruptcy making way for Haeger Pottery to occupy the factory in March of 1939.

DSCN8407From the Collection:
Crazy Quilt

This recently donated quilt belonged to Lillian Peck (b. 1872)

The quilt uses a four point star block, placed in a solid blue silk background. The stars are in a crazy quilt style, popular in the late 1890s. Sewn into the quilt are three ribbons from Civil War Soldiers’ Reunions held in Macomb and Quincy, commemorating the region’s veterans. The Bushnell Weekly Recorder reports the October 24, 1899 reunion was attended by 34 members of the 16th Illinois Volunteer infantry, 65 members of the 78th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. We’ll continue to research the materials, pattern, and the ribbons and look forward to sharing more of this quilt’s story soon.