Everyone’s life is so full of stories. Stories they make and stories they create with others. These stories add up to become part of someone’s history and legacy. Along with these stories are often objects—physical things that the stories live within. But what happens if the history is not recorded and is not remembered beyond the individuals who were there to experience it? These objects live on, but can only themselves tell pieces of the stories they hold. That is why it is so important to record and write down your and your loved ones’ histories. The threat of a lost story and legacy is unfortunately always a possibility without these physical pieces of documentation.
When the Lakeshore Museum Center set out to put on an exhibit about quilts, we could never have imagined where it would lead us. Simply stated, quilts are made from an endless combination of patterns, colors, fabrics, and techniques. The maker stitches these different parts to one another to create a one-of-a-kind quilt. Much like a quilt, our lives are made of strips that must be sewn together to create a story with a lasting legacy. Details, stories, and objects are all pieces of our lives that can be combined in endless ways. Even one missing piece leaves the story incomplete and the quilt unfinished.
In her lifetime, local quilter Rosie Lee Wilkins created over 100 quilts. Unfortunately, Rosie’s story was left unfinished during her lifetime. Opening November 9, 2020, and running through April 23, 2021, the Lakeshore Museum Center will be exhibiting Who is Rosie Lee Wilkins? Piecing Together Her History. This exhibit will highlight some of her quilting works—a large physical part of Rosie’s legacy. Along with these beautiful works, visitors to the exhibit will get a behind the scenes look at the means and methods of how the museum staff worked to find Rosie story. On display will be the research process and steps taken to piece together the history of Rosie’s life, what we were able to uncover, and why it is so important to document our individual stories before they are lost to time.