Warroad Quilting Project

Nine pre-teen girls met with senior women from the Warroad Senior Living Center to socialize, gather stories, and design four wall-hangings inspired by life in the 1930s and 40s.

Warroad Quilting Project
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See what people had to say about this project!

"I enjoyed the attentiveness of all the girls. [They were] eager to ask questions to learn and appreciated their present way of life when compared to our lifetime. The [project] leaders were well prepared."

"[I enjoyed] visiting with friends and the ladies, and also sewing."

"[My favorite part was] meeting and interacting with the young girls. They were interested about the early years of Warroad and brought back many pleasant memories."

"[I enjoyed] Interviewing the elderly women.

"This type of program offers much information to the youth of the community. Without this kind of program, much history of the area would be lost. We definitely need to interact with the young of the community."

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Slideshow


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These are the four wall hangings made by the project participants.

 

Many of the senior woman grew up on or near farms in Warroad. This spring scene highlights the beginning of the planting season. 

 

This wall-hanging depicts the stories the senior women shared of Fourth of July in Warroad.

 

The girls featured several of the fall themes that arose in interviews with the seniors ladies including favorite horses, one-room school houses, and harvest.

 

A winter scene shows downtown Warroad ready for holiday celebrations. 

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Like others across the nation and the world in the 1940s, young women living in the remote northwestern corner of Minnesota were experiencing the effects of a worldwide economic Depression and a second world war. They would become adults that could closely identify with the experiences of the "Greatest Generation." In many ways, the young women in Warroad, a small fishing and farming community located on the shores of Lake of the Woods, were affected by what was happening outside their community.

This project was designed to create a learning experience for the younger generation, an opportunity to form relationships with another generation and create a wall hanging that depicted four aspects of Warroad life in the 1940s.  After oral history training conducted by the Minnesota Historical Society, the students interviewed the senior women. The students were then divided into four teams to focus on a particular aspect of Warroad life. Working with an experienced quilter, the students and seniors designed wall hangings depicting the stories shared by the senior women. These wall hangings were dedicated in a luncheon ceremony held at the Warroad Senior Center.

Youth Participants: Alyssa, Madison, Elizabeth, Abby, Katie, Ashley, Mary Grace, Hailee, Emma

Adult Participants: Bernice Harder, Ruth Stukel, Phyllis Ehlers, Tommyetta Eklund, and Elvera Kvarnlov

For more information: Contact Project Manager Maren Levad at maren.levad@mnhs.org or 651-259-3480.

Background on Warroad
Warroad, Minnesota, is a small community on the border of Minnesota and Canada at Lake of the Woods. Founded as a fishing community, Warroad is now the home of Marvin Windows and Doors, Seven Clans Casino, and several NHL and Olympic hockey players.
 

Historic Quilting Resources

Quilts in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections

A Selection of Minnesota Quilts Podcast

Minnesota History Magazine:  Minnesota Patchwork
 

Growing up in the 1930s Resources

Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: Childhood Years

Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: Country Kids

Digital History: Children and the Great Depression

 

Project Details

Date: March 2010 - June 2010
Partner(s): Rosie Orvis, Warroad Library; Julia Warneke; JoAnn Dahlgren; Jennifer Hilligoss; Jenna Jensen, Warroad Senior Living Center; Maren Levad, Minnesota Historical Society, Project Manager
Location: Warroad, MN

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