Hanging in our domestic arts area on the second floor of the museum is the Delphos Commemorative Quilt, a masterpiece of fiber artistry that captures in visual form the diversity and breadth of our city’s past and present.
The Canal Commission worked closely with the Black Swamp Quilters of Delphos to make this quilt in 1993-94, and the thought and detail that went into it is nothing short of amazing. Starting from the outside and working toward the center is the following symbolism:
The binding is a brick pattern to reflect the bricks used to pave early roads and streets. The outside border contains 48 stars for the 48 contiguous states while all 8 of Ohio’s symbols, from the buckeye tree to the cardinal, are inset in the border.
The next border is gray to depict the Miami and Erie Canal which determined where Delphos would be located. It’s hard to imagine Delphos in a different location now, but there were 3 different routes suggested for the canal. Within this border are the American flag, the old Commercial Bank building, a church (representing Delphos’s many churches), Shenk’s first store, the state flag, a cowboy hat and ball bats (Zane Gray played baseball here before he began writing westerns) , Miller-Morton Mills (located near Lock 23), kids fishing in the canal, the Delphos flag, the Jennings Creek aqueduct, a canal lock , the Marguerite, a log cabin, the Waterworks pipe stand, and a Canal Commission Angel.
Transportation has always been important to the development of Delphos and is depicted in the next quilt block. The border is a railroad track with 88 ties representing our 88 Ohio counties and the blocks are mostly transportation related. There is a Kill Brothers wagon, a map of Ohio canals, the Lincoln Highway with a Gramm truck, the Dienstberger house, a locomotive, Melle, Germany which was the homeland of our first settlers, and the first school in Delphos , built in 1846.
All across the square there are seven roads that lead to Delphos: the Ohio Military Highway, the Canal Trace Road, Jenning’s Trail, Defiance Trail, the Lincoln Highway (US 30), the Harding Highway (SR 309) and Scott’s Trace .
The green border represents the parklands donated to the city by its founders and in the center is the Delphos Canal Commission insignia.
This picture does not do the quilt justice so we invite you to stop in to view it sometime. At long last our elevator is installed and running so we are now handicap accessible. The museum is open every Saturday & Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. and every Thursday from nine to noon. We are located on the west side of Main St. between 2nd and 3rd St.