Lynchburg & Lori...

We headed to this town of seven hills due to the fact that our friend, Lori, had just moved here from SoCal and we wanted to see her new life in Virginia.

Like most new towns we visit, we found ourselves at the Lynchburg History Museum, housed in the Old Court House (1855).

I found this contraption interesting. Tobacco was big business here. In 1880, James Bonsack invented the first cigarette rolling machine. Prior to that time, cigarettes had been rolled by hand. Ready-made cigarettes were a luxury item, but became increasingly popular. The manual fabrication process, by a skilled cigarette roller, could produce only about four cigarettes per minute on average. Bonsack's machine was able to produce 120,000 cigarettes in 10 hours (200 per minute), revolutionizing the cigarette industry right here in Lynchburg.
The other big business here was shoes. The Craddock Terry Shoe Company was founded in 1888. With facilities throughout Central Virginia and in Ohio and Missouri, and an office in the  Empire State building, Craddock Terry Shoe Co. began a legacy in Lynchburg, VA, and grew into the 5th largest shoe company in the world.
After learning the City's history, I headed upstairs for the temporary exhibit called A Feast for the Eyes: Quilts and Textiles from Central Virginia. I have admired quilts but I haven't been enamored with them. However, this display of 20 quilts, made between 1802 and 2010, had me hooked.
Early settlers in Central Virginia brought quilt making talents and designs from Europe. Primarily serving a functional purpose, quilt-making was also an expression of artistry and skill. The quilting bee became an important social activity for women of all ages as they worked together. It allowed them to share stories of life, death, marriage, and child rearing while teaching essential skills to girls. Samplers were also a teaching tool for young women.
I thought this Third Hand Sewing Bird was pretty interesting. It's purpose was to firmly attach a piece of fabric to one end of the table, pull it taut and then they could sew with the free hand.
In one corner a video played titled "Why Quilts Matter". After watching for just a few minutes, I 'got it'. I realized what a quilt was all about. It tells a story. In the day, it allowed women to voice their opinions in a subtle way. Did you know there were secret messages in the form of quilt patterns which aided slaves escaping the bonds of captivity in the Southern states before and during the American Civil War? Wow!

This town demands a longer explore but we were here to see Lori. We'll be back one day to do Lynchburg justice.
Lori left Southern California to work for World Help here in Virginia. It is a company she has loved for years and the timing just seemed right for her to make a change. World Help is a Christian humanitarian organization that exists to serve the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world.
This was Day #2 of work for her. We took her to dinner and spent hours getting caught up. It's a good day when you learn some history and connect with a dear friend.

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Cyndy Brown said...

Good point...let's make a quilt and voice our opinions!

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