Log Cabin Variation
Designed by Carol Zimmerman Cleveland (1848-1899)
Spartanburg County, SC
Gift of Mary Poole
McKissick Museum Collection 6.399
This interpretation of the North Carolina lily, a cotton, pieced and appliqued, Foundation-pieced, unbacked, block-style quilt in log cabin “straight furrow” variation pattern using silk, satin, cotton and velvet. Like many other quilters who used thin, slippery fabrics like silks and satins for log cabin quilts, the maker of this top stitched the individual pieces on a foundation of unbleached muslin. This pattern appeared in the united states during the 1860s and is thought to have been inspired by Abraham Lincoln, the log cabin President. The red square around which each block is built represents the hearth of home. By 1869 the pattern was being used in South Carolina. That year a log cabin quilt won a $5 premium in the “Southern Domestic Fabrics” category at the first annual fair of South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical Society in Columbia.
Selina Zimmerman (1810-1889), Spartanburg County, SC, ca. 1870 from “South Carolina Portraits: A Collection of Portraits of South Carolinians and Portraits in South Carolina” by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of South Carolina. 2000. Edited by Christie Zimmerman Fant.
John Zimmerman (1802-1875), Spartanburg County, SC, ca. 1870 from “South Carolina Portraits: A Collection of Portraits of South Carolinians and Portraits in South Carolina” by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of South Carolina. 2000. Edited by Christie Zimmerman Fant.
From The Edgefield Advertiser, Edgefield, SC, June 15, 1842. John Zimmerman purchased the Glenn Springs Hotel property in 1842 and was the proprietor until he sold it in 1853. Judges, United States senators and representatives, and state governors congregated there. In 1890, an article in The Watchman and Southron newspaper (Sumter, SC) detailed the history of the property, noting “some important decisions of the Supreme Court were written out in its precincts.”
Carol Zimmerman Cleveland (1848-1899) 6.399
Carol Zimmerman was born in Glenn Springs in Spartanburg County, SC. One of six children, she was the daughter of John and Selina Zimmerman. Her paternal great-grandfather was born in Germany and her mother’s family was from Austria. Both sides of the family settled in Orangeburg County in the 1700s.
In the early 1840s, John Zimmerman purchased the Glenn Springs Hotel, a resort built around the well-known mineral springs. One of the wealthiest landowners in the community, he petitioned President Andrew Johnson for a pardon in 1865, claiming he “never aided or abetted the rebellion further than was required of him.” There is no mention of his pardon being granted.
In 1870, Carol won two premiums for her silk patchwork quilt at the second annual exhibition of the Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina. She married Dr. Jesse Cleveland in 1873 and they had five children: Elizabeth, John, Conrad, Arthur, and Robert. A practicing physician, Dr. Cleveland soon gave up medicine to pursue opportunities in the textile mill industry, agriculture, and the railroad.
Of his many agricultural pursuits, Jesse Cleveland was the first to introduce red cotton to Spartanburg County. In 1904, The Anderson Intelligencer featured a story about his farm and noted that red cotton “is considerable larger than the ordinary cotton grown in this section and the fibre is said to be very fine and well adapted to manufacturing purposes.” In 1915, he donated 125 acres of land to the city of Spartanburg for the establishment of a public park.