Left to right: Eunice (Hurst) Lehman, Mary Ellen Ness, Kathy Hershey, Barbara Garrett, and Anna Mary Groff

In 1954, students at Parkesburg Mennonite School (1949-1979) presented their teachers with a quilt at Christmas—one for Eunice Hurst, who taught grades one through four, and another for Helen Mosteller, who taught grades five to eight. Each student’s name was embroidered along the edge of a square.

Years later, Mosteller’s quilt ended up in the Morgantown ReUzit Shop, on the desk of Barbara Garrett who volunteers there. As a quilt historian whose research career extends over forty years, Garrett found the fact that it named a school and date intriguing—so intriguing that she purchased it herself. As part of her investigation into the quilt, she came to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society to consult with Carolyn Wenger about Parkesburg Mennonite School. While they were discussing it, a volunteer, Mary Ellen Ness, overheard them speaking and chimed in, “Oh, I went to that school.”

That was the major breakthrough. Mary Ellen involved others connected to the school: Kathy Hershey as well as Anna and Leonard Groff. Together, they researched the Mosteller quilt; connected with Eunice Hurst, who donated her quilt; and produced a booklet about the quilts and the Parkesburg school.

The quilts will be exhibited in the library in January. The booklet compiling the research is available in the archives.