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Antigonish Heritage Museum


Accession number: 2007.037.001
Category: Floor covering
Object type: Hooked
Date: circa 1955
Materials: Fibre
Measurements: 100 cm L x 62 cm W
Narrative: A mat is a piece of fabric or material placed on the floor for warmth, decoration and practical purposes. The mat is made by pulling strips of fabric through an open weave backing such as burlap. The maker of this piece was a native of Caledonia Mills, Antigonish County and learned the craft from older family members. The gabardine used in the mat was salvaged from an old police uniform that was worn by the maker's husband.

This mat was created by Sarah Hill c. 1955.  As a young girl growing up at Caledonia Mills, Antigonish County she learned the tradition of rug hooking from older family members.  For this mat, she drew a floral pattern on a piece of burlap; prepared rags from the gabardine in her husband’s police uniform; dyed pieces of the fabric and hooked all to create what you see before you. 


Sarah was a native of Caledonia Mills, born August 3, 1910.  She was one of nine children born to John A and Mary Elizabeth MacDonald.  Moved to the US as a young person, she married Henry Hill O’Neal of Florida.  On many occasions she returned to her roots in Nova Scotia and instilled a love of the area on her son Rev James Elliot O’Neal, who donated this piece to the AntigonishHeritageMuseum.  Sarah Ann O’Neal died November 11, 2000.


Oblong mat; floral motif centered and surrounded by a scalloped line design. 6 cm black colour border trims the mat

History of Use:

Floor covering used for warmth and decorative purposes in a home.