The Louisiana Purchase Exposition — more commonly known as the 1904 World’s Fair — was an event that celebrated one bit of history while creating a new bit of history. The exposition took place in St. Louis, Missouri, the nearest city to where my then five-year-old paternal grandmother lived and a city that looms large in my family history.
St. Louis is where my great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother Buchta arrived with six children just in time for the St. Louis 1849 Cholera Epidemic. Mr. Buchta died shortly after arrival, leaving his widow and children to find their way in the new world.
In what ended up being a stroke of good fortune, at least a couple of the children were old and able-bodied enough to be able to go out to California where they successfully panned for gold. Not once but twice.
The first bits of gold they collected were lost while crossing the Feather River, so they started anew and continued working until they had enough gold to purchase land in southern Illinois, and it was on a farm purchased with that gold that my five-year-old grandmother lived with her mother, father, and older brother, Hilbert at the time of the exposition.
For the articles I have read, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition was quite the event, and while I have no written record of what it was like for my grandmother to attend, I do have this cup made of ruby flash glass with her name inscribed on one side, and the worlds “1904 World’s Fair” inscribed on the other as a reminder that she was once a small child in a rapidly changing world:
And it was that glass that I wanted to some how commemorate 114 years later in my 2018 North Carolina State Fair piece.
For a long time I didn’t know how I would do it, but one day while sorting through yarn in my endless attempt to get organized, I had an idea about how to approach it, so I crocheted these pieces:
to fit into this spot:
And after some frustration, I finally got it done:
The embroidery is not as perfect as I would like, but after several failed attempts to make it “better,” I came to the realization that it was as perfect as it was going to get, so I seamed it into the panel:
And then got this overview:
I still have a way to go, but I will continue moving forward, one stitch at a time.