“It’s fun to search and a joy to find.”
The Questers, an international study organization, was formed in April, 1944 by Jessie Elizabeth Bardens of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. As stated by the founder, “Antiques are a part of human history, a tangible record of the things of everyday living. A fascinating hobby, the study of antiques gives the most pleasure to those who strive to learn all they can about where, when, why and how they were made. Through the discovery and knowledge of antiques, we may bring the past to life and profit by the experience of previous generations.” Thus, the aims of the organization are to further the study and collection of antiques and to encourage the preservation and restoration of historic landmarks.
In 1950, with six chapters in Pennsylvania and interest being expressed concerning the formation of others, the Questers was organized as a National organisation with 50 cents as dues and Jessie Elizabeth Bardens served as President. In 1953, The Questers was chartered in April as a non-profit corporation with 22 chapters. The Questers became an international organization in 1967, when Maple Leaf #311 received its charter in Windsor, Ontario, but it was not until 1991 when the organization officially changed from National to International. There are now nine chapters within Ontario. The majority of the chapters are located throughout Essex County. Currently there are approximately 650 chapters within Canada and the US with 10,000 members.
Local chapters meet on a monthly basis to discuss history and antiques and sometimes travel to historic sites. Questers seek to educate by research and study of antiques and to donate funds to the preservation and restoration of artifacts, existing memorials, historic buildings, landmarks, and educational purposes. Questers work on defined projects selected by each Chapter.