2024 Rockland Voices

Bicentennial 'Day' Quilt
Rockland Voices
April 17, 2024 —October 27, 2024

The Historical Society of Rockland County Presents

Rockland Voices
featuring the HSRC Bicentennial Quilts

When: April 17–October 27, 2024, Wednesdays–Fridays & Sundays, 1–4 pm
Where: HSRC History Center Galleries, 20 Zukor Road,  New City
Admission: $FREE on weekdays; $5/person on Sundays (includes guided tour of historic Jacob Blauvelt House)

Our semi-permanent exhibition illustrating Rockland County's rich history has reopened for a new season! 

Through highlights from the HSRC's permanent collection, visitors will learn about several elements that make up Rockland’s history. The core exhibition explores: 

  • The Lenape
  • The Dutch
  • Treason of the Revolution
  • Slavery 
  • The Nyack Turnpike.  

New for 2024: The "Day Quilt" and "Night Quilt" Created for the Bicentennial of the American Revolution in 1976

In 1976, the United States celebrated the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Patriotic festivals, celebrations, and other Bicentennial observances across the country marked this auspicious occasion. The idea to commemorate the Bicentennial by creating a quilt reflecting the history of Rockland County was originally the brainchild of Mrs. Mary Kennedy of Pearl River. With the sponsorship of the Historical Society of Rockland County and a grant from the American the Beautiful Fund, she was able to assemble an imaginative and hardworking group of women and men. So many people reponded to her call for volunteers that the decision was made to create two quilts. One would be worked by a "day" group, and the other by a "night" group.

The first meeting of the groups was held on February 21, 1975. One year later, after many ideas, decisions, discussions, and hours of hard labor labor, the quilts were completed. The Pearl River Library, New City Library, Marine Midland Bank, Ladentown Methodist Church, Ethan Allen Gallery, New City Town Hall, and Masonic Temple in Sparkill provided space in their buildings for the quilters. Hutton-Johnson donated the lumber for the quilting frame, which was built by the Industrial Arts class of Pearl River High School.

In preparation for the first exhibition of the Bicentennial Quilts in 1976, each quilter, together with Historical Society staff, prepared a short description of the history of his or her square. Some of those descriptions, written 40 years ago, have been superseded by more recent research, but the original cards are maintained in the HSRC Collection as historical artifacts in their own right.
Volunteers have made—and continue to make—a significant impact on the success of the Historical Society of Rockland County.

The "Day" and "Night" Bicentennial Quilts, on display as part of Rockland Voices, not only illustrate the strength of grassroots volunteerism but also teach lessons about Rockland County history.


The Historical Society of Rockland County is a nonprofit educational institution and principal repository for original documents and artifacts relating to Rockland County. Its headquarters are a four-acre site featuring a history museum and the 1832 Jacob Blauvelt House located at 20 Zukor Road, New City, New York 10956. 


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