Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lincoln County Woman Carries on Family Tradition, 1949

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer, July 4, 1949

On a farm in Lincoln County, Mrs. C.C. Reep of Lincolnton, Route 1, keeps alive the ancient art of weaving. As a child, Mrs. Reep watched her mother weave with a hand-made loom and gradually, she, too, learned how to use the implement.

“It was my duty to put in the webs,” Mrs. Reep said. “My mother did most of the weaving after she was 65 years old and after she had reared a large family. She learned the art from her mother, who had been taught by her neighbors. So, weaving has been practiced in my family for many, many years.”

Miss Ainslee Alexander, Lincoln home agent, says that Mrs. Reep did not actually begin to weave cloth until she was married in 1924 and had a home of her own. At first, she borrowed a loom and wove only rugs and  hand towels, first for her own home and then some for sale. The loom which she owns, belonged to her mother and grandmother. The grandmother bought it second hand from another family that had used it for years. The loom is put together by wooden pegs, rather than nails, and the only thing modern about it is a new set of winding blades which Mrs. Reep’s father added when he was preparing it for his wife. The loom is thus much more than 100 years old and was in use before the War Between the States.

After the War Between the States, and when the people had begun to recover from it, textile mills began to be built in that section, cloth became cheaper, and the folks threw away their old looms. Mrs. Reep says that because her mother liked to weave, she kept her loom. The daughter uses this same loom today with both cotton and wool.

 This farm woman has raised seven children and she helps with the farm work as well as with all the other many chores about the home. Her weaving is a part-time job, or a hobby. Five of her seven children have been active as 4-H Club members in the Lincoln County clubs and she is a member of the Howard’s Creek Home Demonstration Club. Her daughter, Ruth, wove the material which she used in making a dress to enter in the recent 4-H dress revue and won second place in the county contest. Inez, another daughter, was a member of a prize-winning poultry judging team which won state championship honors and a trip to National 4-H Congress in Chicago.

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