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APRIL 5 & 6, 2003

The Talking Quilt

Operation Hope

Avon, Ohio will welcome spring Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6 with a SPRING FLING FESTIVAL, sponsored by the Avon Historical Society, the French Creek Development Association, and the French Creek Association.

Festivities will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Part of the Ohio Bicentennial Celebration will be the Avon Eagle Decorating Contest. The Eagle is the schools' mascot; and statues have been circulated to the schools and residents for decorating and will be on display at the Heritage Square Gazebo on Saturday and Sunday.

eagle art
Heritage School students in John Yagoda's Art Club work on eagles after school,

Voting will be done by popular acclaim and the winners will be announced at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. There is still time to sponsor an eagle for the cost of $35. Sponsors will become owners of the decorated birds.

The Old Town Hall of 1871 (corner of Detroit and Stoney Ridge) will be open both days for continuous demonstrations of spring planting and decorating tips, a community quilting bee, and demonstrations of spinning, weaving and dulcimer music. Several videos of Avon's history will also be shown.

Participating businesses will be offering special promotions and donating raffle prizes for visitors. Items to be raffled will be on display at the Old Town Hall and tickets will be available there and throughout the town shops.

Raffle tickets are a dollar each or six for $5. The businesses sponsoring this event include Piazza's Floral Greenhouse, Gerber's Garden Center, Tree House Gallery and Tea Room, French Creek Fiber Arts, A Secret Garden, Sue Beez Embroidery & Gifts, The Allen Greenhouse, Pinehaven Greenhouse, and Fresh Tendrils Floral.

In connection with the Greater Cleveland Flower Growers Association, three Avon greenhouses will be conducting tours of their growing areas on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. These greenhouses are Piazza's Floral Greenhouse, The Allen Greenhouse, and Pinehaven Greenhouses.

Stop by and catch a whiff of spring flowers in full bloom. For more information on the Growers Tour, visit www.gcfga.com

Avon's French Creek District is located along Rt. 254 (Detroit Rd.) and Rt. 611 (Colorado/Stoney Ridge Rd.) south of I-90.

For more information visit www.frenchcreekdistrict.com or contact PEGGY STRANG at 440-934-1236

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FEATURE ARTICLE from The Press, 3-12-03, By Julie A. Short

``AVON -- If these panels could talk, What would they say?

Well they can talk, thanks to the magic of video production and the diligent efforts of the Avon Historical Society. The quilt is a kaleidoscope of color and a miniature cross section of Avon.

Pat Furnas (left) and Jean Fischer continue to meet regularly to quilt. Here they are in colonial costume.

The "Memories of Avon Quilt" video depicts scenes and events from the first 100 years of Avon's history. It tells the story of Avon's living memories that were founded on faith, love, cooperation and a powerful work ethic.

Plans for the quilt began in the summer of 1975 when residents Alma Sturznickel and Betty Sheak wondered what could be done to celebrate the Bicentennial year. Once they arrived at a theme, Alma dug out photographs taken by her uncle, Frank Wagner. She provided Sheak with accurate source material from which Betty was able to make her sketches. The drawings were given to community needle workers, called "block workers" who chose materials, stitching and colors and went to work.

Originally there were to be 30 squares within the quilt, but the women decided on 35. The center square features Avon's seal, adopted in 1965. The seal reflects Avon's rural atmosphere with its greenhouses and farms.

To the left and right of the seal are images of the Jamesons. They are the grandparents of Roy Cahoon. The early Cahoon family was the first to settle in Avon back in the 1800s.

Religion played an important role in Avon Heritage as three squares are devoted to churches. Avon Baptist Church, located on Stoney Ridge at the corner of Julian Street is the oldest church building in Avon and has been used continuously since it was built in 1839.

Other noteworthy panels include the former Wilford Hotel built in 1842, which once stood on Detroit Road west of the French Creek Bridge. The building was used as a home until 1850 when Reuben Wilford purchased it and converted into a thriving hotel.The Wilbur Cahoon house built in 1825 on the west side of Stoney Ridge is shown.

A number of panels also show items throughout Avon such as the Old Town Pump and the Julian Street School House. The schoolhouse was used from 1873 to 1929. An addition was built to accommodate a high school, and for many years was used as a grade school and high school.

"The quilt is quite impressive," Dr. Del Fischer of the Avon Historical Society said. His wife Jean was one of the "block workers."

The quilt was featured in the "Avon Festival of Flowers" arts and crafts show in May of 1976, as well as the Bicentennial celebration on July 4, 1976.

In 1976, along with more than 9,000 other quilts, the "Memories of Avon" quilt was entered in Good Housekeeping magazine's "Great Quilt Contest." One winner was selected from each state. The Avon quilt won for the state of Ohio and was awarded a silver medal in the national contest.

The quilt appeared in the March 1978 issue of the magazine. It also joined the Ohio State Quilt Tour sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. The quilt was on display at the State House in Columbus, as well as the Convention Center in Dayton and at the Restoration Center in Cleveland.

The quilt is currently on display at the Old Town Hall of 1871 (the home of the Avon Historical Society) and is protected from harmful sunlight by a heavy draw drape.

"The Talking Quilt" story is available on VHS for $10 through the Avon Historical Society.''

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Operation Hope Press Release, 4-2-03

This is a grass roots effort to support our POW's and MIA's in Iraq and, hopefully, provides some comfort to their families. There will be a "Kick-Off" ceremony on Sunday, April 13th at 1:00 p.m. in Avon, Ohio at the Gazebo located on the corner of Routes 611 & 254 [Stoney Ridge and Detroit].

Our aim is to have someone in attendance at the gazebo 24 hours a day until our POW's are free. Ask yourself if 15 minutes a week is too much to give for the cost of freedom.

These service men and women, and their families live in fear and agony 24 hours a day and WE MUST show them non-stop support until they are safe. Whether or not you support this war makes NO DIFFERENCE. WE MUST support our troops. We owe them this much for fighting for the freedoms we hold so dear. They are risking their lives and we can, at the very least, give them our time.

Each branch of the service will be represented at this opening ceremony, and "Rolling Thunder" will conduct a POW flag raising. We also hope to have a dignitary from Washington present who will reinforce our mission and encourage towns across America to organize their own "Operation Hope" vigils. United we CAN stand and make a difference.

Local TV stations and newspapers have been contacted and plan to cover this event. Additional details are being finalized as of this printing.

Please attend and show your support!

Barbara Chase, Operation Hope Director, 440-937-9898

Jean Fischer

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