Luzerne County Historical Society to Present Talk on Needlework Samplers Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Luzerne County Historical Society (LCHS) announces a talk on needlework samplers by Executive Director Aimee E. Newell, Ph.D. (author of A Stitch in Time: The Needlework of Aging Women in Antebellum America) on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at 2 p.m. at the Denison House Visitor Center, 35 Denison Street, Forty Fort, PA. The Denison House is open for tours on Sundays through September 29, 2019, from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission to the house tour and the talk is free for LCHS members; $5 for non-member adults and $3 for non-member children. For more information, email or call 570-823-6244 x3.

Newell will review the history of samplermaking in the United States and then discuss several examples from the LCHS collection. She will include two samplers stitched by Luke Swetland’s granddaughters, which were recently conserved thanks to a Community Connector grant from the PennEast Pipeline. One of these samplers was made in 1817 by Almira Swetland (1805-1880) and the other by Hannah Swetland (1783-1872) in 1793. Stitched in silk thread on linen cloth, the samplers offer insight into the lives of northeastern Pennsylvania girls during the late 1700s and early 1800s, lives that are often difficult to study because of the lack of traditional written documentation.

The Denison House was built in 1790 for Nathan Denison and his family and is one of the oldest houses in the Wyoming Valley. Nathan Denison was one of the first forty shareholders in the Susquehanna Company to settle five new towns in the Wyoming Valley in February 1769. Denison became a popular leader of the pioneer settlers from Connecticut. He served as a Justice of the Peace and colonel of the local militia.