Thursday, February 29, 2024

Leap Year Patchwork - Wyoming Valley

 Wyoming Valley belongs to that rare category of newspaper patterns printed on February 29 - a Leap Year quilt block.



Wyoming Valley



“Wyoming Valley Block” had its origin in the east, specifically Pennsylvania, to commemorate the terrible Wyoming Valley massacre which took place many years before the piecing of this block.  The story of the massacre was one which was told and retold to the Pennsylvania children.  The finished squares measure 15 inches, and 36 blocks are required for an entire coverlet.


Nancy Cabot    Chicago Tribune   February 29, 1936 


The Wyoming Valley Massacre was a battle of the revolutionary war and, unlike the song ‘Battle of New Orleans,’ it was a British victory. The battle is reenacted every year in Wyoming, Pennsylvania although the quilt block is not mentioned.

 If the story was told and retold to children it must have been to give them a fright.


In the same edition of the Chicago Tribune that this pattern appeared was a piece about leap years.  Written in an April Fool’s style it declared that women were in charge for the day and the plans they had to make single men propose.  It did however mention two birthday girls:

The persons whose rare birthdays arrive today were planning parties all over Chicago last night.  Mrs. Simon Straus, 3154 South Michigan avenue, will have only 22 candles on her cake, although she was 17 when the civil war began.  Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt, 452 Maryland avenue, Gary, will observe her “twentieth” birthday.


And some advertisements to finish this singular day.








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