New Stops on the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail



Photo Karen Graham

Momentum is picking up for the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail Committee.  Since the first Barn Quilt installation at Home Hardware last November, the group has added seven more block quilts and has another nine blocks in progress.

The objective of the group is to build a trail of barn quilts designed to tell the story of our community in a way that captures the people, history and culture of the Township.  The blocks are installed in locations throughout the community, connecting the villages and hamlets throughout the Township, highlighting the important role of agriculture in this community and incorporating the history of quilting which continues today.  The Barn Quilt trail is designed to connect the community with its past and present through large scale art installations that demonstrate local pride and enhance the appreciation for the history and natural beauty of our area for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists passing through.

The committee has succeeded in engaging community members across the community, including local businesses, volunteer organizations, schools and individuals as well as those with artistic and construction skills to create and install the blocks, including elementary school students who have created their signature barn quilts.

Last month a colourful block was mounted on the Legion building on King Street East.  Sponsored by the Business Improvement Area, the block portrays a stylized poppy, the well-known symbol of the national organization.   When approached by the Barn Quilt group about the idea, Millbrook Legion President Diann Corfe was delighted.  After scouring the internet for quilt images of poppies, she found the one that was used as the basis for their installation.  They hope to have a photo of this block included in their national organizations magazine this fall.

Along Tapley ¼ Line, the former location of a post office bears its own quilt block.  Homeowners Ted and Nancy Hodgkinson were eager to participate in the barn quilt project, and were particularly enthusiastic about the projects intention to tell tales of local history.  Entitled One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, their striking block features a postage stamp with the postal mark used here from 1909-1912.   The postage mark “Kel Mar” is a combination of the family names from the immediate area at the time, Kelly, Matchett and Richards.  The shoe reference relates to an earlier owner named Sarah Coe of the Staples family who owned the property during the 1840’s and earned a living making shoes.  A widow, she acquired the property through her brother who purchased it on her behalf to circumvent laws which at that time prevented women from owning real estate.

The trail continues to seek barn owners in the area who are interested having a block installed on their barn, and hope the beautiful block on the Hodgkinson barn inspires them to come forward with stories of their own.  For more information about this project, contact Lenka Petric at or visit . KG

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