By Monique Sawyer-Lang & LaVern Johnson
The public is invited to stop by Lyons Town Hall (open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and of course Monday evenings for the BOT and PCDC meetings) to take in the Lyons Arts & Humanities Commission's latest art show, “Quilts.” The very interesting and intricate work, by area quilters, will be on display from January through March of this year.
While there, be sure to notice the pansy quilt made by long time Lyons resident Minnie Hutchinson (born December 11, 1907, died October 10, 2008). Minnie's parents, James H. and Nancy Hutchinson and their family came to the Lyons area in a covered wagon in 1890. James worked in the logging industry and later in the local quarries. Minnie was the ninth of ten children. She started school in Allenspark and later moved to Mead on her father’s beet farm. She worked as a nursemaid in Longmont, where she met Merton J. Hutchinson, who had come from Michigan to visit cousins.
The couple was married in Michigan, and then returned to Colorado, and eventually back to Lyons in the 1930s, where they bought two lots on Reese Street in 1936, and spent four years building their house while they lived in the garage (the house, now owned by Ryan and Erin Whitbeck, is a very stately house with its sandstone steps, sidewalks, fireplace, and landscaping). Minnie worked as a waitress for the Pagh’s at the Copper Kettle Tea Room, and was 4-H leader for the Hill Billy Swing Club, an organization for local Lyons girls: Berene and LaVern McConnell, Colleen Drage, Margaret Dunfee, Bertha Burke, and many more. Minnie was an active member of the Happy Hour Club, a woman’s organization. She worked for the Town of Lyons from 1958 to 1973, and after retirement, she volunteered at the Lyons Depot Library for nine years. A very popular lady who lived to be 100 years old, she was a member of Minnie’s Red Hat Club.
The appliqué pansy quilt design was a popular Alice Brooks pattern created in the 1930s and available by mail order. The pattern was available through the 1950s. It is not known exactly when Minnie made this quilt top. The pansy flowers are hand appliquéd on the 10” block, and finished with an embroidered blanket stitch.
Sometime around May of 2009 when Minnie’s house was being cleaned out after her death this quilt top ended