Artifact of the Month

Handmade Shuttle
Donated by Annabel Applegate Searcy


Shuttle Mark
Backwards "S" carved on the top of the shuttle.

In the 1800s, before store-bought fabric became the norm, many a pioneer home had a loom where the woman of the house made all of the family fabrics. Shuttles, like the one pictures here, carried yarns across warp threads, creating fabric.

This handmade shuttle comes from the Searcy family and most likely belonged to Temperance Caroline Searcy. (A backward “S” is punch-marked on the top of the shuttle.) Temperance, her husband A. H. Searcy, and their children came from Georgia to Arkansas in 1859, settling in the Friendship community east of Springdale where they farmed and raised hogs and sheep.

The shuttle was donated to the Shiloh Museum by Annabel Applegate Searcy, the wife of Lockwood Searcy, who was Temperance Searcy's grandson. Lockwood inherited his grandmother's textile tools and other family heirlooms in the 1940s. Annabel donated many of these pioneer era artifacts to the Shiloh Museum in 1968, the year the museum opened to the public.

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