BARN QUILT TRAIL
The 2017 International Plowing Match, held just outside of Walton, has left Huron County a legacy that will outlast many memories created during those successful five days: the Huron County barn quilt trail.
The concept came to many local residents at a Huron County Plowing Match courtesy of Cheryl Gardiner of Gardiner’s Gate. She had a display at the match years before the event came to Huron County showcasing a unique business dedicated to custom, handcrafted barn quilts. Barn quilts are large (most range from one foot squared to eight feet squared), hand-painted badges for barns, many of which you can see high atop the landscape along the rolling hills of
In Huron County, over 130 barn quilts have been erected in recent years and they are all listed and mapped on the Ontario barn quilt trail website, many complete with descriptions of the barn quilts, their design and the story behind them.
Some are placed at businesses, while others are at home farms or schools. Some are even at event grounds, like the site of the annual Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association’s reunion in Blyth or at Don McNeil’s shop and museum in Brussels.
The 132 barn quilts located throughout Huron County are spread consistently throughout the
community, though many are concentrated in the central communities of Huron, with most located south of Wingham and north of Hwy. 8 near Clinton and Seaforth.
A book detailing the barn quilts of Huron County was even produced in the months leading up to the 2017 International Plowing Match, though it was such a popular item that it sold out within months of its creation.
Many of the barn quilts celebrate a family’s history or the history of a farm and the commodity it has been producing for generations, while others celebrate Canada or the Huron County community.
Near Brussels, the Armstrong family’s barn quilt celebrated the aerodrome located at the farm and the family’s rich aviation heritage.
Norah’s Pinwheel at the home of Brian Schlosser is a special one, especially with its roots in the International Plowing Match. Schlosser featured the barn quilt at the match at the Brussels Fall Fair tent, asking visitors to sign the quilt. He then sealed up the creation and erected it on his barn, complete with thousands of signatures.
For more information on the Huron County barn quilt trail, visit barnquilttrails.ca and select the Huron County trail.