For many years, until 2015, the Fallser served East Falls with its monthly publication.
East Falls Community Council currently publishes East Falls NOW monthly.
This page has a selection from East Falls NOW
Click here for Page 1 and Table of Contents.
East Falls Now, January 2021, by Patty Cheek
Everyone loves a good mystery. How about a little history with your mystery? This is the story of a very special quilt which was donated to the East Falls Historical Society by the Clayton family who were former residents of East Falls. It was in early spring that Tom Clayton contacted Ellen Sheehan regarding an old quilt which was found in an attic. At first it seemed like a plain old quilt, 6 ½ foot square, white with red embroidery. The center rectangle had the embroidered outline of a church, surrounded by 32 squares, each with a red daisy and names stitched within.
As we looked closer, it became clear that there was a mystery about this old blanket. The church on the quilt was an image of the Methodist Episcopal Church of East Falls. The pastor’s name, Reverend R.A. McIlwain and the words “Pearls of Price” were stitched around the outline of the church. “Pearls” appears to refer to the bible parable which describes the great value the Kingdom of Heaven places on believers. According to Wikipedia, The Methodist Episcopal Church became the Methodist Church in 1939. In 1968 it was renamed again as the United Methodist Church. At that time the building became the Falls United Methodist Church, which is located on Indian Queen Lane and Krail Street. It currently houses office space and boasts organ pipes as decoration.
When Ellen Sheehan and I began to examine the quilt, we saw that there were hundreds of family names embroidered within the daisy petals on the quilt, along with the dates 1894 to 1897. We began the fascinating task of transcribing the names as best we could decipher them onto paper. We could imagine the families that had lived and worshipped here in East Falls in the late 1890’s. As we compiled our lists, we noticed some interesting names in the center of each daisy. Sometimes it was a family name but other times it was a title such as “Royal Cadets”, “Willing Workers”, “Sunbeams”, “Earnest Workers”, or “ 8 Jewels”. What could these names represent? Then, longtime member of the EFHS reference committee, Joe Terry unearthed the information: these were the names of Sunday School classes. Curiouser and curiouser. Why did the church members create a quilt with names of Sunday School classes on it?
At last, we came upon the one square that gave us the key clue to the quilt’s existence. On one particular flower were embroidered the words, “Nearly three years was the quilt in making - by it, $200 was raised for the Church.” AHA! This quilt was lovingly stitched and put together as a fund raiser for the church. There are so many interesting aspects to it. It’s clear that the embroidery is not the hand of one stitcher. Therefore, each square was probably taken home by a church member as they worked on it, before the quilt assembly. Not only that, but the quilt reaches across state lines, as one square bears family sur-names from other states including Florida and California. Finally, the understanding of the words “Pearls of Price”. In the context of this quilt’s evolution, it may be the words “Pearls of Price” referred to the value of donating to the cause of the quilt itself, as well as a salvation parable. Mystery solved!
Click here for more about the quilt.
Do you have questions about East Falls history, or want to know more? See our growing website at eastfallshistoricalsociety.org, or contact us at email@example.com. And join!