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The Historical Exhibit of Letterboxing Patches

States, Provinces and Regions:

The ongoing growth of letterboxing in America can be loosely measured by its patches. Once enough people in a particular vicinity have been "bitten" by the letterboxing bug, they inevitably organize and make arrangements to commemorate their involvement with embroidered cloth. While most of the early letterboxing patches represented large regions, more and more individual states and provinces are reaching critical mass and choosing to produce their very own patches. In some cases, even smaller localized areas have created patches to represent their community's strong affinity for the hobby.

NOTE: We are still researching and documenting the history for several of these patches. In some cases, it's been difficult to flesh out the stories and determine just how they came about. We fear that a significant portion of our hobby's history is already beginning to fade away. Please help us to document and preserve this historical information. If you have any further details pertaining to the origins of any of these patches, please contact us at Mail@LetterboxingPatches.com.

Northeast Region
Distributed and embroidered by Wolfy. Designed by Phyto. Shortly after Connecticut resident Jean "Wolfy" Cote acquired a new embroidering system, she offered to make a patch for the Northeast Region. A contest was held on Yahoo's Northeast group message board, and the winning entry was from Phyto, of Maine. Her design includes the outlines of the New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut) as well as New York. In addition to the honor of having her design appear on the patch, she won a backpack with the design custom embroidered onto it. The patch made its debut at the Winter Boxing Drive event on January 16, 2005.
Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper
Mid-Atlantic Region
Designed by the Crayola Posse. Distributed by Hikers and Hounds. A contest was held on the Yahoo group message board for the Mid-Atlantic Region, and this design was announced as the winner in April, 2005. These patches became available for purchase on May 10. The design echos the original Central Pennsylvania Letterboxing logo, which had been designed by the Crayola Posse earlier in the year for the Central PA message board.

Patch donated by: Hikers and Hounds


Great Lakes Region (Version 1)
Designed by SpringChick. Distributed by Wisconsin Hiker. This design had been carved by SpringChick as the event stamp for the first Great Lakes Letterbox Gathering, held May 2003, in Michigan. It was also being used as a logo for the Great Lakes Yahoo group message board. Wisconsin Hiker proposed having it made into a patch on August 3, 2005. With SpringChick's blessing, the patch was produced and the initial order of 200 soon sold out. The design features the outlines of five states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Patch donated by: Wisconsin Hiker
Great Lakes Region (Version 2)
Sometime in 2006, Minnesota letterboxers began asking to be included in the Great Lakes region, since their state borders a portion of Lake Superior and they were not really being represented by any other recognized region. As a result, SpringChick redesigned the logo for the Great Lakes region and, on July 28, 2006, Wisconsin Hiker posted a message about creating a patch based on the new design. Members of the regional message board voted to decide if the new patch should be round or square, and the square version went on sale that December.
Patch donated by: Wisconsin Hiker
Texas (large)
Distributed by Ruby Tuesday of CelticLions. In April, 2004, monkeytoes suggested this logo design (basically, the LbNA logo inside the state outline) after seeing a similar logo design on Ohio's Yahoo message board. T-shirts were produced later that summer, but Barefoot Lucy and Ruby Tuesday took turns tossing around the idea of having patches made for about a year. A number of variations were considered, such as including the year or individual F-counts in the design. Ruby finally placed an order, and it was announced on the Texas Letterboxing Yahoo group message board they were available for purchase on August 25, 2005. This initial batch of 100 Texas patches was about 2-3/8" x 2-3/8" in size.
Patch donated by: Maiden
Texas (small)
Distributed by Batty B (a.k.a. Brandi) and Barefoot Lucy. Designed by monkeytoes. After the initial batch of Texas patches from 2005 sold out, they were re-ordered in a slightly smaller size (about 2" x 2") in order to reduce their cost. This second run of patches was ordered and distributed by Brandi, and became available on May 19, 2006. A subsequent third run of the same size was ordered and distributed by Barefoot Lucy in August, 2007.
Patch donated by: sandibox
Southeast Region (handmade pre-production version)

Designed for the second annual LbSe gathering at Stone Mountain, Georgia, which was held on July 9, 2005. Cherokee Rose remembers, "Judithandsparky, Brook, Dee&Abby and I all worked on that event. I sewed for months in preparation, making everything from patches (see also: Awards and Accomplishments) to hand towels, and embroidering each and every gathering T-shirt myself. I used thousands of yards of thread and worked well into the wee hours of each night, but it was a labor of love and it was my pleasure to do it." At that time, there had been talk of an LbSe patch. A design had been proposed by Red (of Red's Bunch) but they had not yet been produced. Cherokee Rose couldn't exactly duplicate Red's design on her home machine, but did manage to stitch up a few of these rare pre-release versions to give away as prizes for the gathering. The orange cloth and green thread used for these badges are bright, neon, day-glow colors.

Patch donated by: Cherokee Rose

Southeast Region (official version)

Several months after the second LbSe gathering, Red (of Red's Bunch) was finally able to commission a full production run of patches, which incorporated his special brand of designer flair to the Southeast regional logo. He announced that they were available for sale on the Letterbox_Southeast group message board as of November 2, 2005.

Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper



Ontario, Canada
Designed and distributed by Norasta. Yahoo's Letterboxing Ontario group message board had received several submissions for its patch design contest when voting began on February 8, 2006. Once the votes were counted, on February 16, this beautiful design was announced as the favored choice and went on sale just a few weeks later. By the way, Norasta reminds us, "We call them 'badges' up here. A patch is something for fixing a rip."
Patch donated by: Norasta
Pacific Northwest Region
Designed and distributed by Funhog. After an extensive design contest which took place on Yahoo's Pacific Northwest letterboxing group message board, this design was voted into use as the official regional logo. Patches were ordered and became available for sale on March 20, 2006.
Patch donated by: Funhog
Cape Cod
Distributed by CapeCodLetterboxer. This patch premiered on September 30, 2006, at the Great Cape Escape 2006 gathering.

Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper




Central Florida
Designed and distributed by Three Hearts. Members of Yahoo's Central Florida Letterboxing (CFLLB) group message board had discussed the fact that they liked being a part of the Southeast region, but also wanted to identify themselves as a unique group. On January 17th, 2007, Lorax suggested the production of a distinct patch just for Central Florida. Three Hearts put together some early design ideas, and members voted for their favorites. The winning image was presented to Advantage Emblem, who created the final design and produced a run of 100 patches. Sales began on March 23, 2007.
Patch donated by: Three Hearts
Central Massachusetts
Designed and distributed by Lazy Letterboxer, this patch came out in March 2007. "Not being very artistically inclined," she says, "I came up with the design using PrintShop. The main colors are lazyletterboxer orange and letterboxingham blue." She ordered 200, figuring to break even after selling 65. But her hubby (Letterboxing Ham) told her it was likely she'd just give most of them away. She laughs, "Since he doesn't like it when he's wrong, I decided to fulfill his prophecy." She's sold about 20 of them, so far, and has given most of the rest away. She doubts she'll re-order when they're gone, but might try coming up with a new design.
Patch donated by: Lazy Letterboxer
California (Eureka)

Distributed by Tdyans. Various designs were submitted for this patch before simultaneous voting began on both the Southern California and Northern California Yahoo group message boards. The winning design was actually a combination of two different submissions, borrowing the "Eureka!" heading from one, and the graphic and basic design from another. The final composite went into production and became available for purchase in late March, 2007.

Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper

Designed and distributed by the Merry Pranksters. The LbMA Patch is a take-off of the familiar LbNA logo. The design was originally carved as a Hitchhiker in February of 2007. This stamp was given to Zess the treehuggers and dropped off in Oregon with hopes of seeing it returned home someday. Shortly thereafter, the Merry Pranksters decided that this colorful image would make a lovely patch to represent letterboxing in Massachusetts. It became available for sale on March 29, 2007.

Patch donated by: The Merry Pranksters

The official Oklahoma Letterboxing patches were designed and distributed by Melody Belmer. They went on sale August 24, 2007.

Patch donated by: Melody Belmer



New York (If You Plant It, They Will Come)
This patch was designed and distributed by The Sprite and The Highlander. Well, actually, it may have been designed mostly by The Sprite. She tells us, "I did the picture stuff while the Highlander kept throwing out slogan ideas (many of which were rather inappropriate, I might add... who KNEW you could use the word 'box' in that many naughty ways?!)" Originally, the patch design began as a t-shirt logo for members of the Western New York letterboxing discussion group (LbWNY). However, after some discussions with members of the New York State group, a decision was eventually made to drop the "western" reference and use this as a logo to represent the entire state. The patches became available on August 26, 2007.
Patch donated by: The Sprite and The Highlander
Hudson Valley
Distributed by Talking Turtle. This patch represents the Hudson Valley region of New York State. It was produced in conjunction with the patch from the "Fall is HERE!" gathering in October, 2007.

Patch donated by: Talking Turtle





Designed and distributed by Wendell "mstrwndl" Jones. This patch made its first public appearance on October 20, 2007, at the "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" gathering in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper




New Hampshire (Live Free and Box)

Designed and distributed by Team Chopper. This patch became available on December 30, 2007.

Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper
North Carolina
Designed and distributed by Dixie. After putting together several possible designs, Dixie asked North Carolina letterboxers to visit her website and vote for a patch design. This design originally had the words "Gift of Gab" superimposed over the letter L, but a majority of people voted against it. The patch made its first appearance on January 5, 2008, at the Mountain Mysteries & Legends gathering in Asheville.
Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper
Designed and distributed by Margaret "Astrii" Kearns. On January 3, 2008, Astrii posted to the Atlas Quest CT board, "If there are more boxes per sqmi in CT compared to every other state why is there no LBCT patch?" She uploaded this design, with brightly colored counties, and many people responded that they liked it. It became available for purchase in early February.
Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper
Maine (Look Behind the Pine!)

Designed and distributed by Gargoyle Girl and Kollaps. Well, Gargoyle Girls says it was mostly designed by Kollaps! It was announced that they had arrived on February 20, 2008. They made their public debut three days later at the Sleigh Bells gathering in Keene, New Hampshire.

Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper
Ohio (The Heart of Letterboxing)
Designed and distributed by Mn8X. They became available for sale in late February, 2008.

Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper


Alabama (Heart of Dixie)
Designed and distributed by Big Ox and the Herd. This patch made its debut at Galaxy4's mini-meet in Hoover, Alabama, on March 8, 2008. Big Ox says, "I tried my best to include elements that represent the state well, while keeping it as clean and uncluttered as possible. I even used blue for the lettering to counter the red in the state flag, in a disguised effort to appease both Tide and Tiger fans."
Patch donated by: Der Mad Stamper
Maine (The Way Boxing Should Be)
Distributed by Mainekokopellian, who says that it's "dedicated to everyone who has planted or hunted Letterboxes in Maine." This patch became available on March 12, 2008.
Patch donated by: MaineKokopellian
Rocky Mountain Region

Designed and distributed by Aljan Sundance. This patch became available on June 5, 2008.

Patch donated by: Boxer Lover 47
South Carolina
Designed by Dixie. Distributed by TralleyValleyFarmClan. This patch became available in late August, 2008.
Patch donated by: TralleyValleyFarmClan
Designed and distributed by Alaska HSM. You may be surprised to learn that Alaska was one of the earliest states where letterboxes were planted. However, it was not until August 13, 2008, that Alaska HSM (also known as "Whatever") posted on Atlas Quest that she was thinking about having a state patch made. There was ample response from interested parties and by September 20, she had them ready to ship. UPDATE: The Alaska patch is now available directly from this site with all proceeds going toward the support of this Exhibit.
Patch donated by: Whatever (aka "Alaska HSM")
Designed by Halo. Distributed by The Toadfrogs. This patch began shipping out on December 17, 2008.

Patch donated by: The Toadfrogs


Southwest Region
Designed by Wisconsin Hiker. Distributed by Baqash. After avid letterboxers visiting the Tucson area expressed dismay that there weren't any local letterboxing patches to add to their collecton, Baqash (pronounced B' kosh) created a tracker on Atlas Quest to guage people's interest in a Southwest regional patch. When the interest level approached 50 patches, she set up a contest with submissions posted on both the Letterboxing Southwest Yahoo discussion group and Mark Pepe's blog. There were about 10 entries. Results of the poll were announced at Tucson's 5th annual letterboxing event on February 8, 2009. The same design, submitted by Wisconsin Hiker, won hands down in both polls. UPDATE: This patch is now only available from this site in limited quantities with all proceeds going toward the support of this Exhibit.
Patch donated by: Baqash
Designed and distributed by Camp Fire Lady. This patch depicts a majestic bald eagle soaring through the sky with images reflecting in its wings that represent Mt. Ranier, the state's national forests, and the abundance of Salmon found in its rivers and streams. The design was unveiled through Atlas Quest on April 13, 2009 and was made available on CFL's blog two days later.
Patch donated by: Balladone Bunch
Designed by Manna, with help from Casa del Sol, and distributed by Casa del Sol. This patch became available on April 23, 2009. The colors were chosen to complement the Appalachian Trail patch (which is blue trimmed in yellow) since Virginia has more AT miles than any other state. It also reflects the state motto: "Virginia is for Lovers." The designers explain that the hiker is in the east, since that's currently where most Virginia letterboxers live (Tidewater and Northern Virginia). He's facing west, looking forward to spreading the hobby in that direction.

Patch donated by: Manna and Casa del Sol

Designed and Distributed by Mystic Dreamer, who says she thought it was about time that Oregon had a state patch as well. So, she worked with the same embroidery company that did the Washington state patch and came up with this design, which features a stagecoach, Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, a bald eagle, and spawning salmon. On June 12, 2009, she announced that she was taking orders, and they were shipping by the end of the month.

Patch donated by: Mystic Dreamer


One state at a time!
These large patches (6" wide) were sent to us in August, 2009, by Talking Turtle. We think it's a great idea, reminisent of those state magnets that retired folks put on their RV's to show which states they've visited. This is an interactive patch, designed so that you can simply color in the states where you've been letterboxing using fabric paints and/or permanent markers. The example shown on the left is unadorned, while the one on the right has been colored in with Sharpie® permanent markers (and a tiny dot of fabric paint to help highlight Rhode Island).
 Patches donated by: Talking Turtle
Prairie Rose of Iowa City writes, "I became interested in letterboxing patches after attending the 2010 LbSE Event at Stone Mountain, GA, where I bought the LbSE Patch, and the 2010 Great Lakes Gathering in Peoria, IL, where I was given an event path tag. After I sewed both on my letterboxing bag, I got the itch to cover more of my bag's surface with patches and soon discovered my own state didn't have a patch. I was on a mission! I stirred some online conversation up, and members of our AQ state board brainstormed several design ideas, and sent out a challenge for anyone who had an idea and was interested to submit a sketch." After a few revisions, the general consensus was to go with Prairie Rose's own "American Gothic" design, which became available in July 2010.

Patch donated by: Prairie Rose

"Shorty" of Princeton, IL, started working on a design for the Illinois state patch back in August, 2008. However, he wasn't completely satisfied with his initial attempt and, in December, started asking other Illinois letterboxers for design ideas. Several people contributed notions, including Nitrocat, who suggested everything from Abe Lincoln, corn, and the Chicago skyline to Al Capone, pizza, and hot dogs. Atom118 suggested using the design of the state quarter as inspiration. That coin features a collage of the state outline, Lincoln, a barnyard with silo and fence, and the Chicago skyline. However, it wasn't until January, 2011, that Shorty managed to finalize the design and get patches ordered. The result was worth the wait, and incorporates the barnyard, skyline, Honest Abe, a wheat field and corn field—all framed by the state outline.
Patch donated by: Shorty

NOTE: All patches are represented at the same scale for comparison purposes. However, images
have been reduced in size to help discourage the creation of counterfeit reproductions.

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