In preparation of Cooper County’s bicentennial in December, the Cooper County Historical Society and Research Center accepted the offer from local historian and artist Florence “Winky” Chesnutt to commemorate the anniversary with a unique design on a cotton bandanna.
Chesnutt has lived in Cooper County since 1986, and her ancestors settled in Cooper County in the early 1800s. She used her personal knowledge to create the map on the bandanna, which shows cities like Boonville, Bunceton and Pilot Grove.
Chesnutt said she wanted to do something for the bicentennial and decided on designing a bandanna because the items can be used in many different ways.
“I just wanted to make a 22-foot scarf,” she said. “I ended up with just a trail map.”
She said the bandanna will help inform people unaware of what Cooper County has to offer.
Chessnut, a retired graphic designer, hand-drew pictures of some of the more well-known buildings in the county and the statue of Hannah Cole, the mother of Cooper County, with a map in the middle of the bandanna.
She thought it would be a simple project, but conceded it was not. Chessnut planned to spend two or three days on the bandannas, but that stretched to two weeks after she had to start over when the size of the bandanna increased.
She looked at the county map to get ideas, but knew she was not allowed to copy it, so she had to throw in her own variations. Included on the map are historical homes or homesteads, though she decided not to include her own historical home.
The map also includes many of the County’s landmarks and other historical sites, including the Mt. Moriah Bridge, Burwood, Crestmead, the old Pilot Grove jail built in 1890, Pilot Grove CO-OP, CCHS Research Center, Hannah Cole Monument Park, Katy Station and the Boonville Visitor Center.
Chessnut also said the bandanna is much like of the plates she designed when Cooper County turned 175 years old in 1993.
Pam Shipman, a volunteer of the Cooper County Historical Society and Research Center who assists with organization fundraisers, said asking Chessnut to do something for the bicentennial was an easy decision. “She does marvelous work,” Shipman said.
The 300 bandannas, which are being sold for $10 each, will go to the historical society and research center to help pay the bills and make facility improvements.
“We are trying to add technology to what we do,” said historical society archivist Sue Day.
So far 100 have been sold to people living as far away as Maine or California.
“Cooper County was a jumping off point,” Chessnut said. “They want to know where their grandpa lived.”
Shipman said the bandannas is a way to celebrate Cooper County and its bicentennial. “It shows your pride in the county,” she said.
The bandannas are available at the CCHS and Research Center, 111 Roe St., Pilot Grove; Citizens’ Bank locations in Pilot Grove and Blackwater; Dawn Taylor’s Bake Shop, 519 E. Morgan, Boonville; the Boonville Visitor Center; and the Boonville Chamber of Commerce.