Wagon Wheel Barn Quilt Square Installed at the Rural Museum


Barn Quilt installed on the front of the Rural Museum.

The Edinburg Historical Society wanted a barn quilt for the front of the Rural Museum. The Wagon Wheel design was chosen because Barker’s Store was supposedly part of the Underground Railroad. Robert Tyrrell agreed to paint the barn quilt square. Bob Tyrrell, 88, is descended from the Arad Copeland and Anna Trowbridge who built the bridge to get his cows to pasture. His aunt Nellie Tyrrell was a school teacher in Gloversville and became the first Edinburg Town Historian and Curator of the Nellie Tyrrell Museum.

Bob lived in Gloversville all his life and has a camp in Edinburg. He was a carpenter learning the trade from his father Lewis owner of E L Tyrrell & Son in Gloversville. Bob inherited the business and now Bob’s son Tim is continuing in his father and grandfather’s footsteps running the business.

Bob and his wife Betty donated the Copeland Covered Bridge to the Edinburg Historical Society in 1997. The Copeland Covered Bridge is the only queenspost truss bridge in New York State and the only covered bridge in Saratoga County and was placed on the NYS National Register in 1998.

The Wagon Wheel also called the Carpenter’s Wheel was a signal to slaves to pack the items needed to travel by wagon or things needed while traveling. It could also mean to pack the provisions necessary for survival, as in packing a wagon for a long journey, or to actually load the wagon in preparation for escape. Some records indicate this symbol meant a wagon with hidden compartments in which slaves could conceal themselves to soon be embarking for the trip to freedom.

Slaves could not read or write and it was illegal to teach a slave to do so. Codes, therefore, were part of the slaves’ existence and their route to freedom, which eventually became known as the Underground Railroad. Most quilt patterns had their roots in the African traditions the slaves brought with them to North America when they were captured and forced to leave their homeland. There is still controversy among historians and scholars over the quilt code theory and whether slaves actually used codes concealed within quilt patters to follow the escape routes of the Underground Railroad. Oral histories leave no written record but the stories passed down through the generations from the slaves themselves, following the code of secrecy, these stories were never told.

Edinburg Fall Festival – September 30

Fall2 On September 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Edinburg Historical Society will hold its annual Edinburg Fall Festival at the Nellie Tyrrell and Rural Museums on North Shore Road at the Edinburg Four Corner’s. Coffee, homemade treats, soups and chili will be available.

The bake sale will feature home-made pies, cookies, breads and cakes. If anyone has a special treat they would like to bake for the sale or a pot of soup they can drop it off at the Rural any time after 10 a.m. There will be demonstrations in the Rural Museum and craft vendors. The Nellie Tyrrell Museum has historic photographs and children are encouraged to ring the bell.

The third printing of the DVD “Saving the Dream” with Edinburg photos by John Bennis, narrated by Denise Ferguson and music provided by Robin Gaiser and the Mill Run Dulcimer Band will be available at $15.

Joel and Denise Ferguson of J & D Percherons will have their beautiful black horses providing free horse and wagon rides from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Take a short walk or drive to the Copeland Covered Bridge built in 1879 and the Carriage Factory built before 1828. The Carriage Factory was a water-powered shop owned by the Copeland brothers who were wheelwrights and makers of cabinets, coffins and furniture. The Society is hoping not only to restore the Carriage Factory but also to obtain some of the old tools and machinery. We had over 1,000 visitors to the Copeland Site last year from 29 different states and four different countries.

Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of three buckets filled with items for fishing, feeding birds and flower bulbs with gardening tools. The drawing will be held at the close of the Festival and you do not have to be present to win.

Park and walk across the Batchellerville Bridge, one of the longest steel bridge spans in upstate New York and enjoy the gorgeous view.

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A short business meeting of the Society will be held on Tuesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. following a 6:00 p. m. Pot Luck Dinner. Bring a dish to share. Stew, casserole, bread, vegetables, baked beans, tossed salad, potato and macaroni salad and desserts are needed.

August 15, 2017: Edinburg Hill Cemetery trip

The Edinburg Historical Society will meet on Tuesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. at the Edinburg Hill Cemetery on Military Road.

Edinburg Historian Priscilla Edwards said the first settlers arrived in Edinburg in the late 1780s and naturally discovered the need for cemeteries even before schools. Some of the earliest burials were established on a family’s own farm while in other instances a landowner would set aside a sandy plot of land for a community cemetery. The landowner would sell off burial plots to his neighbors as needed – making extra money to supplement his income. The first recorded burial in the Edinburg Hill Cemetery was in 1802 Little Alfred Perry, two or three years old, son of James Perry.

Military veterans are scattered throughout our cemeteries. Each cemetery has graves only identified by field stones. You can only guess who these people were and when they died. Field stones were used when families could not afford a regular cemetery marker or if there were no family members left to mark the site.

Following the tour of the Edinburg Hill Cemetery members will congregate at the Edinburg Community Center for a meeting and refreshments.