Needlework was an essential part of a young girl’s education during the 18th and 19th centuries. Typically created by girls ranging in age from eight to fifteen and working under the instruction of a teacher, samplers demonstrated the individual’s necessary skills of sewing or mending for their future home life. Depending on the skill and age of the creator, samplers could range from simpler “marker samplers” to embroidery with beautiful landscape subjects resembling paintings.
Considered art in their own right, samplers have come to be valuable for another reason, as oftentimes they are the only physical representation left of everyday women of the past. Usually girls would include their name, age, date of birth, and hometown (or some combination thereof) into their stitching, leaving a written record of their existence.
The Old Barracks Association is proud to display these pieces and
the stories that can be pieced together about the lives of the women who created them.
Click on any image to learn more about it and the artist.