Union Township—The art of quilting has been practiced at Hopewell Furnace since its inception in 1771. Quilting and quilting demonstrations continue today. On Sunday, June 11, Becky Hughes and the Hopewell Quilters will present an overview of quilting at Hopewell Furnace. Several rare historic quilts from the park’s archives will be displayed to complement the program. This free event will begin at 2 p.m.
Similar to Lancaster’s Amish Country, quilting in Berks and Chester Counties was a matter of frugality. Creating fabric was very expensive and time consuming in the 18th and 19th centuries. Quilting bees which brought together a number of women and men to quilt became not only a way to conserve and reuse fabrics, but also a source of socialization and networking.
Becky Hughes currently serves as the Museum Program Supervisor for Berks County’s Parks and Recreation Department. She is a Presidential Award winning volunteer at Hopewell Furnace and along with her mother Beth Sugar regularly demonstrates quilting at Hopewell and at other locations in Berks County.
Established in 1994, the Friends of Hopewell Furnace is the official non-profit fundraising arm of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. A 501(c)3 citizen organization, its mission is to support the preservation, maintenance and programs of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Donations to the Friends may be tax deductible according to the rules set by the Internal Revenue Service. For more information visit the Friends web site at www.friendsofhopewellfurn.org.
While at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site visitors are encouraged to go into the village, tour the buildings and learn about iron making and why Hopewell Furnace is important to our nation’s history. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday thru Sunday, the park is located five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off of Route 345. For more information stop by the park’s visitor center, call 610-582-8773, visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/hofu, or contact the park by e-mail at [email protected].