Monday, July 2, 2012

Canada Day Road Trip on the Barn Quilt Trail

Happy birthday Canada.  I hope you enjoyed your big day.  Wow 145!  You don't look a day over 100 . . . LOL

So how did you spend your Canada Day?  Hal and I went on a road trip . . .

We went looking for barn quilt squares on the Barn Quilt Trail of Elgin County.

Cock's Comb #3
163719 Brownsville Road, Brownsville, ON
A rooster and chickens were an essential part of a settler's belongings.  It seemed fitting to place this block on the 1880's barn of Janet Justus, operator of "The Hen House Shoppe" located outside Brownsville.  Named for Brinton Brown Sr., who settled the area in 1842, Brownsville was awarded a post office in 1854 as a result of an election promise made by Sir Francis Hinks. (from the Barn Quilt Trails book)

Cross in a Cross #4
312281 Dereham Line, Delmer, ON
Delmer United Church
Settlers held religious services in their homes until congregations grew large enough to build a church.  Often, Methodist circuit ministers were the only ordained clergyman that pioneers of this area saw, and soon Methodist churches dotted the landscape.  The Delmer United Church is built on the site of the 1840s frame church and this block on the church barn remembers those early ministers who preached throughout the wilderness.

My 4th great grandfather, Cornelius Flummerfelt, was a Methodist circuit minister.  Just a bit of interesting family tree info.

Arrowhead Puzzle #5
616 Broadway, Tillsonburg, ON
Stubbes Countrywide
The block on the Stubbe's Furniture Barn honours this area's First Nations.  Prior to European settlement, Oxford County was home to many First Native villages, one of which was located just west of here.  An archaeological dig conducted in 2000 discovered an Iroquoian village dating to approximately 1400 that covered over 20 acres, making it the largest know pre-contact Iroquoian village of its time in southern Ontario.

Roads to the Station #6
41 Bridge St. W., Tillsonburg, ON
Station Arts Centre
The coming of the railroad was an exciting event!  This block is located at the Great Western Railway Station (1879-1975), which today has been repurposed to the arts-based, community involved, Station Arts Centre.  The design originates from the Railroad Crossing pattern with each arm representing a function of the Station:  arts programming, galleries, in-house groups and visitor information -- all coming together at this heritage site.

New Water Wheel #7
20 John Pound Road, Tillsonburg, ON
Mill Tales Inn
Water was an important source of power for early settlers.  E.D. Tillson, son of Tillsonburg's founder George, created a milling empire by harnessing the power of the Otter Creek.  This block, located on Tillson's Pea & Barley Mill, built in 1878 and opened in 2009 as the Mill Tales Inn, celebrates all the power generated on the creeks and rivers of Oxford during the late 1800s.

Right Hand of Friendship #1
293905 Culloden Line, Ingersoll, ON
The perfect block to start your tour of Oxford Country Barn Quilts is called the Right Hand of Friendship and you will find the people of this predominately rural county welcoming.  The rich soil and rolling hills of the area attracted pioneer settlement as early as 1789, with the majority of the county being settled between 1820-1870.  Dairy farms like this one owned by the Van Manens have long been part of Oxford's landscape.

Path Through the Woods #2
293140 Culloden Line, Verschoyle, ON
This block on the 90-year-old Bowman family barn symbolizes the dense forests that the early settlers of Oxford had to tame.  They created roads from paths through the woods, felling thousands of trees to establish farms and villages.  The County was formally established in 1850 and its motto reads "Labour Conquers All Things" -- a fitting tribute to the hard work of our first settlers.