community history gallery

Woven Works of Art: 19th Century Coverlets

Hand-loom woven coverlets played an important role in early American history, providing warmth in the sometimes harsh frontier environment. Usually made of a combination of wool and linen or cotton—fibers that weren’t hard to come by on farms or in general stores—coverlets were utilitarian, but could also be quite beautiful. The natural fibers were dyed in vibrant colors and woven into geometric patterns, figures of flora and fauna, patriotic and domestic scenes, and more.

Coverlet weaving reached its pinnacle in the 19th century. Professional weavers began to migrate to America from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, and elsewhere. Many of these weavers traveled around offering their skills, though some settled in places where the population was large enough to support their trade. Many weavers also made household carpets.

The Youngstown Foundation Community History Gallery, located on the first floor behind the main exhibit space and grand staircase. Utilizing the theme “Inspiration through Heritage,” the displays in the Community History Gallery are developed through collaborative efforts with local historical societies as well as with educational, civic, cultural, and religious organizations in the Valley.

Janice E. Strasfeld, executive director of The Youngstown Foundation, states, “The Tyler History Center is going to be such an asset for everyone in the Mahoning Valley — from preserving unique segments of local history to providing interactive educational programs for all ages. By sponsoring the Community History Gallery, The Youngstown Foundation is helping to strengthen regional partnerships which not only highlight unique connections between the Valley’s past and present but also build pride and awareness for current and future generations.”

How it Works

Non-profit cultural organizations, schools, and neighborhood associations are invited to participate in our Community History Gallery program on a first come-first served basis. If selected, you will meet with the History Center staff to discuss how to effectively tell your story and what artifacts or other materials you might want to display.

Once you have decided on a theme and selected items to include in the Community History Gallery you will install your exhibit with guidance from our trained staff.