Accession number: 1986.07.16
Date: 1879 – 1954
Measurements: 89.5 cm L x 51 cm W
Narrative: This rug belonged to M. J. (Manley John) Maxwell (1879 - 1954), who was dealer in lumber and laths. James Maxwell, born in St. Stephen, New Bruswick and of Loyalist descent, moved to Upper Sackville, Nova Scotia because of his lumber buisness. His name was once associated with a Maine lumber timber barn, Ninian L. Todd, who had large timber interests in Nova Scotia in the years around 1872. In 1918, James Maxwell and his wife, Louisa (Boutilier) of St. Margaret's Bay, decided that their grandchildren needed a school. Along with their sons, Manley, George, Chiristie, Boyd and William, they built a school on donated land. Classes started on August 26, 1918 with 5 students - all Maxwells - and Dorothy Grace of Middle Sackville as teacher. It was not until 1923 that there were other children besides Maxwell's attending the school.
This rug was made in the traditional manner whereby the rug hooker with her right hand above the pattern (often designed by the maker) and the material strip in her left hand elon pushed the hook down through the urlap catching the material strip and drawing it up to form a loop. This craft was popular primarily with the poorer and middle classes. After the 1830's it was popular to have floor coverings for the home and as only the wealthy could afford machine made or imported rugs women began looking through their leftover scraps of material to create their own rugs. Different techniques flourished in different sections and were dependant on the material available in the locality. Where the railroads appeared providing cheap transportation for goods it also provided for a wider variety of materials. Many old rugs were made on urlap from 1850 on, burlap was free as long as one used grain and feed bags. Some types of rugs have a dozen different names by which they are called often because what they are called in one locale is completely different from that of another location.
Description: Rectangular hooked rug with large green oak leaf with black edge in the center. Brown and beige striped section follows outline of leaf for small section then irregular green and peach striped section forms a rectangle. Brown, peach and beige stripes radiate out from this rectangle. At each corner there a pair of oak leaves on a brown background, one pair of green and one burgundy. The inside black background is interrupted by these two pairs of leaves. Another section of multicolored stripes follows and is finished off with the exterior black border.