BATON ROUGE is the capital of Louisiana, in the southeast-central part of the state, located on a bluff above the Mississippi River. According to Wikipedia, it was founded in 1719 as a French fort. in 1849 it became the state capital and was captured (May 1862) by Union admiral David Farragut during the Civil War. The placename is a translation into French of the Native American Choctaw name, Itta Homma, in English meaning RED STICK or RED WAND.
Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS (p.94-3) dates the block back to the Ladies Art Company Catalogue (#474), published in 1922 and includes it on the same page in her compendium with related patterns such as AROUND THE CORNER. Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS illustrates the design (#2629) in the neighborhood of THE WISHING RING and KITCHEN WOODBOX.
Nancy Cabot illustrated BATON ROUGE in the Chicago Tribune on January 27, 1934, and the Nancy Page syndicated column added the design on February 8, 1938. The dark/light distribution differs between these two sources (see left). According to Jinny Beyer illustration, the four, side-centered diamonds, instead of white, are darker than the other sections. All these variations suggest some welcome experimentation with this pattern, devising your own dark and light schema. Nancy Page suggests, "we might follow the hint of color given the name," which was worked with here too, a sort of cosmetic "rouge," but even that is certainly not cut in stone.
More American placename designs at this site include:
DUCK CREEK PUZZLE
ROAD TO TENNESSEE
ROAD TO OKLAHOMA