DAR is “sew” ready for America 250!


GREENVILLE — Fort GreeneVille DAR chapter has been awarded the honor of representing Ohio in America’s semiquincentennial (250th birthday).

After receiving the America 250! Quilt Project challenge presented by Your American Heritage Committee last spring, Debbie Nisonger and Virginia Kagey immediately began discussing ideas to submit a quilt block design to represent the great 17th state of Ohio.

Each state would hold a contest to find that one special block to best represent the history of their state. Participating chapters were invited to draw a design symbolizing their state history for the quilt block. Recognizing the significance of The America 250! Quilt, the duo worked to bring the DAR theme to life: “As each state became part of our country beginning 250 years ago, each state block will unite with all to become a tapestry of our country’s heritage.”

By May, Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR was named the winner of the state-wide contest and would make Ohio’s block for the national quilt, serving as a visual history of not only Ohio but the entire nation.

Nisonger received word of their win while vacationing in Maine. As she was atop Mt. Cadillac at the time of the news, she said, “I was literally able to ‘holler it from the mountaintop!’”

Kagey confessed that her excitement was quickly met with a wave of anxiety. “Now I actually have to MAKE it!” she said. Kagey, who has been quilting since 2001 but interested in the craft for much longer, creates her work with extreme precision. In looking at the block, it can be difficult to believe her exact stitching is hand-sewn, but it is. Kagey said, “To honor my ancestry, I do everything by hand.”

Kagey explained one of her proudest moments occurred when her mother said the stitches look just like her own mother’s quilting work. Kagey was thrilled to be compared to her revered, late grandmother who is also her namesake.

Though it took some modifications and three blocks to achieve perfection, Kagey feels very honored to be the person who hand stitched and hand appliquéd the Ohio quilt block. “We still cannot believe our block was chosen from all of Ohio’s DAR chapter entries!” she concluded.

Ohio Quilt Block – America 250! as submitted by Fort GreeneVille DAR chapter:

An Ohio Star quilt block variation was used to showcase the earliest years of Ohio’s history. The fort represents Fort Laurens, Ohio’s only Revolutionary War fort built in 1778 as a wilderness outpost. Also represented in the center is Fort GreeneVille which was constructed in 1793. This fort was the largest wooden fort in North America covering over 50 acres. Fort GreeneVille played an important part in the signing of the Treaty of GreeneVille on August 3, 1795, which opened the Northwest Territory for our nation. This ended the Northwest Indian War and laid the groundwork for Ohio to become a state in 1803. This appliquéd fort also represents many other significant Ohio forts that helped the western expansion of our early nation.

A silhouette of a Revolutionary War patriot was added to show the determination of our brave ancestors. The Native American represents the native tribes that resided in Ohio. The cardinal as Ohio’s beautiful state bird and the Ohio buckeye as Ohio’s state tree are also represented.

The completed national quilt will be displayed at the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) headquarters in Washington, D.C., and during the America 250! celebrations.

As stated on DAR.org, “We stand on the eve of a grand commemoration. In July 2026, the United States will mark its 250th anniversary – and DAR is preparing to celebrate in a big way!” DAR is represented on the United States Semiquincentennial Commission, established in July 2016, and will work with the Commission to help plan nationwide celebrations worthy of the momentous milestone. DAR is proud to be the first heritage society to formally partner with America250 whose group members will submit recommendations for the consideration of the President and Congress and assist with the execution of the approved itinerary.

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at 937-569-0066 or [email protected].

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