This quilt was presented to Mary Ann Piecuch (1941–2009) upon her retirement in 1999 from the USPS as the Postmaster of Lowman, NY. It was made by mother/daughter Virgiline Jilson and Mary Jilson Daniels then personalized by many of those Mary Ann loved and/or served. Notable sketches by Delores Jilson Morgan depict the Lowman Post Office, the Newtown Battlefield Marker (1907) and the Lowman Methodist Church. The Newtown Battle (1779) occurred in Lowman on land owned by the Jilson family. Other notable references include infamous eatery Anne’s Pancakes, Elmira Correctional Facility, Watkins Glen Grand Prix, and the symbolic Polish White Eagle.
While Mary Ann was first employed by The Elmira Theater (now the Clemens Center) she became one of Elmira’s first female postal carriers in 1966. Proud of her faith, her community, her Polish heritage and its music, she served on numerous committees of Elmira, NY, including St. Casimir’s Church, Blessed Sacrament Parish and The White Eagles Club. She willingly assisted local politicians when duty called. She traveled often to enjoy her favorite polka bands and organized bus trips so that others had an opportunity to enjoy recording polka artists. As former President of the Soaring Polka Association, Mary Ann was instrumental in bringing Chemung County its first Polka Holiday.
Made as a tribute to Mary Ann, this quilt is actually a wonderful piece of Americana. Each square transforms into a symbolic window pane allowing a view of the culture and values that made up our community at the turn of the twentieth century.
Mary Ann will be remembered most for her outgoing personality, her love of polka music, and her service to God and the community she loved. Her quilt now has the unique opportunity to take on a new life at The Rockwell Museum.