Piece of history returned to Pebble Hill

Published: April 29, 2021

Article body

A piece of history has returned to Pebble Hill. Clarke S. Yarbrough and his daughter Terri Lorant recently donated a 1925 Singer sewing machine to the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities at Pebble Hill. The sewing machine belonged to Clarke's mother Mary Strudwick Yarbrough who used it to complete a special quilt while living in Pebble Hill.

Mary Strudwick Yarbrough was born in Demopolis. After completing her education at the Alabama Normal College in Livingston, she became a government demonstrator in home economics for Wilcox and Clarke counties. In February 1928, Mary married Cecil Yarbrough and moved to Auburn, taking up residence at Pebble Hill.

Mary began sewing squares for a crazy quilt in 1912 that memorialized family members and special events. She completed the quilt at Pebble Hill in 1959. The quilt is a unique artifact because Mary kept a notebook that documented the family members and special events represented in each square.

The quilt was donated to the Alabama Department of Archives and History in 2017. It is featured in the new book titled Alabama Quilts: Wilderness through World War II, 1682-1950 by Mary Elizabeth Johnson Huff and Carole Ann King.

The sewing machine is currently on display. Pebble Hill is open for self-guided tours and guided tours by appointment. To schedule a tour, email Maiben Beard or call (334)844-4903.

The historic Scott-Yarbrough House, known as Pebble Hill, is an 1847 Greek Revival style cottage that illustrates the important lives of Creek Indians, enslaved persons, and founders and builders of the town of Auburn. Pebble Hill is the home of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts. The Draughon Center creates opportunities for people to explore our individual and collective experiences, values and identities through the creativity of the arts and the wisdom of the humanities.

Click here for more information about Pebble Hill and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Submitted by: Maiben Beard

Sewing machine