A: Athelstan, Iowa #AtoZChallenge

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Thanks for stopping by! During the month of April, we’re participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. We’re posting every day (except Sundays) to the letter of the day – A to Z through the whole month. Vintage Daze’s theme for April is RESEARCH. Join us as we get down and dirty in the archives.

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A: Athelstan, Iowa

Athelstan IA is a small now almost non-existent town sitting on the Missouri/Iowa border. While few people currently live there, it was once a small thriving farming community. I never would have known of its existence except for some quilt squares I happened upon at a yard sale in California. The squares were not in prime shape. They were obviously very old and the stitching on most appeared to be done by younger stitchers. But they all had names stitched on them. Once boasted the year ‘1934’ in the bonnet.

I tried putting names in the computer to see if I could locate any common links. I failed. And the squares were packed away through two moves. Several years later I ran across the page where I’d made notes of the names and common fabrics. I sat down at the computer again and in less than an hour I had Athelstan.

By then, a 1925 Athelstan, Iowa census had been posted online and several of the names were on it – including many who were young girls or toddlers in 1925.

Much more research – hours and hours over weeks and months – revealed more information about the women and young girls that had stitched these squares in 1934. I’ve since become friends with several of the descendants of these squares. Although the set of quilt squares no longer belong to me. I took them back home in 2014 and gave them to the Taylor County Historical Museum, where they can be enjoyed in the area they began in over 80 years ago.

While researching results like this are not common, it’s fueled my obsession with researching people, places, and items from the past.

Come back for more researching fun through the month – every day – A to Z.

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The small community of Fargo, Texas struggles to survive in the post-Depression years. Besides the lack of money, years of record breaking heat and drought threaten the farming town. But the women of the town have a strength and resolve common to many of the time. They gather together and produce a cookbook for their church. Fargo Women Plot and Plan is a fictional tale about real women represented in a real cookbook. Historical details about the town, time, and people are real. The tale that weaves the pieces together is totally fictional – a figment of this author’s imagination. Sign up for our monthly newsletter, BACK STORY, and I’ll send you this short story for free.

Trisha Faye is captivated about people, places, and pieces of the past. When she can tear herself away from researching, she writes stories about the fascinating snippets she discovers, such as the stories in her book, Wash on Monday.

You can find Trisha on Facebook, Twitter, or on her blogs – Trisha Faye, Vintage Daze, or Embracing Life.

 

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