A little piece of history remains a mystery for Sandra Sutton of John Day.
Dozens of brightly colored embroidered signatures fill the approximately 3-by-3 antique tablecloth, as well as where each person was from and the date signed.
The tablecloth was passed down from Myrtle Dexter Moore (1916-1990), who was Sutton’s second cousin, to Moore’s daughter Barbara Achziger and then to Sutton.
“Myrtle would have been about 24 when the signatures were collected,” Sutton said. “Her own signature is not on it, which leads one to believe that she is the one who made it.”
Achziger received a box with the tablecloth inside before her mother passed away, but Sutton said the box wasn’t opened for “quite some time” after Moore’s death, so information about the cloth wasn’t available.
Moore was born in Dayville to George William Moore and Florence Sasser Moore, and later lived on the Moore Ranch south of Kimberly on Highway 19.
Her siblings were: Everett (1904-05); Vernie (1905-2001), who was married to Clayton Cork; Martha (1908-1996), who was married to Edward Foree; James (1910-1968), who was married to Wilma Gates; and Georgia (1914-1997), who was married to Rhys Humphries.
Vernie and Clayton Cork’s signatures are included on the tablecloth.
The former Moore Ranch property is located about a half-mile south of the Foree Picnic Area or half-mile north of Cathedral Rock, Sutton said — north of what is currently known as the Longview Ranch.
Sutton said she would like to know if anyone has family stories about a relative who signed the tablecloth.
She’s spoken with children of some people who signed it, but they were too young at the time to know why it was signed.
“Is there anyone out there who told a story about signing a tablecloth?” Sutton asks.
She plans to donate the tablecloth to the Grant County Historical Museum, hopefully with more answers about its origins.
To speak with Sutton about the mystery tablecloth, call her at 541-575-1431.
Embroidered signatures on the tablecloth include: Lillian Andyews, Fort Rock, no date; Adda Baker, Unity, Sept. 11, 1940; John Charles Baker, Unity, Sept. 11, 1940; Cecil May Bailey, Unity, Sept. 24, 1940; Harry G. Barnett, John Day, Dec. 12, 1940; Rosa V. Beam, Unity, Sept. 24, 1941; Viviane Beaver, John Day, Dec. 22, 1940; Hattie Best, Dayville, Jan. 14, 1941; Carlyn Blakley, Bend, May 14,1941; Evelyn Blakley, Bend, July, 18, 1941; Patricia Ruth Blakley, Bend, May 14, 1941; Minnie Brock, John Day, Oct. 13,1940; Elizabeth Brotnar, Clearwater, Idaho, Sept. 5, 1940; Daisy Brown, John Day, Oct. 11, 1940; George Brown, John Day, Nov. 11, 1940; Gladys Brown, John Day, Oct. 11, 1940; Helen Brown, John Day, Oct. 11, 1940; Vera A. Campbell, John Day, Oct. 20, 1940; Aloha Caverhill, Bend, May 20, 1940; Gordon Christopher, John Day, Sept. 24, 1941; Lovina Christopher, John Day, Nov. 17, 1940; Bernie Chorn, Boise, Idaho, Aug. 31,1941; Geneva Court, Unity, Sept. 5, 1940; William L. Culbertson, John Day, Dec. 8,1940; Marcus Dale, John Day, Jan. 7, 1940; H. L. DeSousa, Mt. Vernon, Nov.16, 1940; Ruth Donaldson, no town listed, June 2, 1941.
Non-embroidered signatures on the tablecloth include: Mollie E. Andyews, Fort Rock, May 15, 1941; Shirley Blakley, Bend, May 12, 1941; June Cliff, Jan. 7, 1941; Vernie M. Cork; Sharon Marie Cork, Redmond, April 24, 1941; Clayton W. Cork, Redmond, April 24, 1941; Helen Elder, B.S. Camp, Bend, May 22,1941; Wilma F?ickas, Bend, March 12, 1941; Bill Heryford, Cote d Or, Feb. 7, 1941; Ruth Heryford, John Day, Jan. 9, 1941; Willard Jackson, Boise, Idaho, Aug. 31, 1941; Anna Keerins, John Day, Feb. 4, 1941; Edna McCurdy, Bend, May 22, 1941; Mary E. McCurdy, Dayton, Washington, June 1943; Alcye Moore, Dayville, June 26, 1941; Art and Carolyn Morgan, Prairie City, Feb. 2, 1941; Marilyn Saund??, B? Camp, May 15; Irene Scott, John Day, Feb. 4, 1941; Alta Simonson, Mapleton, Aug. 24, 1941; Chr?ie Uberuaga, John Day, no date.