Touring Colorado’s Collections: Local History Told Through a Quilt

Vail Vintage Quilt, Vail Public Library

Typically historical collections made available online for research often come in the form of letters and photographs.  But history can be told through many different types of collection items, including three dimensional artifacts.  The Vail Public Library’s Vintage Vail Quilt is a perfect example of this.  

The Vail Public Library recently put the Vintage Vail Quilt online through its local digital archive. The original Vintage Vail Quilt hangs in the Vail Public Library Community Room and was donated to the Town of Vail in 1982. The 21 donors, who were also the creators of the quilt , created it to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Vail.   Vail Ski Resort was founded in 1962 and four years later the town of Vail was incorporated.

Vintage Vail Quilt Square, Clocktower Building, 1963. Vail Public Library

The quilt includes 19 squares that depict scenes from the town of Vail.  The centerpiece of the quilt depicts Vail Village.  Other squares include the Clocktower building, Pulis cabin, and Hanson Ranch.  Each square of the quilt is individually cataloged online and includes a photograph that can be downloaded.  Stitched on each square is the title, date and signature of the squares creator.  The quilt first included 21 squares but had to be modified to 19 squares when it was hung in the library in 1986.  

Also included in the digital collection are brief descriptions of the quilters, oral histories, newspaper articles describing the creation of the quilt, a few personal photographs of the creators and the book, Vintage Vail Quilt which has been digitized in its entirety.   Thank you to the Vail Public Library for making this unique collection available online.