by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Transcript & Free Press, Hayter-Walden Publications
It was a week of recognition and appreciation for the barn quilt trails which are spreading through the countryside, spurred locally by an initial project in Wardsville.
Over 100 people gathered at the Melbourne Agricultural Hall on Saturday morning, September 29 for the launch of the Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail. Days earlier, the Native Women’s Trail of Tears Quilt
had been unveiled.
M.C. Diana Jedig explained the basis of the barn quilt projects and introduced various council members in attendance from neighbouring municipalities.
The Native Women’s Trail of Tears quilt was unveiled, along with the Longwoods Quilt and an actual 8’ x 8’ barn quilt featuring an image of Tecumseh. South Caradoc has installed barn quilts along Muncey Rd. that relate to their settlement history, dating back to the 1830s.
Sheila Devost of Tourism Middlesex read a message from M.P. Bev Shipley before Tillsonburg mayor and SCOR chairman John Lessif spoke about their mandate of promoting tourism. He said that he is amazed at the visitors coming to tour the trails in his area and the number of volunteers coming together to make the vision a reality.
Corneil expressed appreciation and listed the names of volunteers. She was thrilled that the 15 Chippewa blocks were all painted in one weekend. “At one time my car had 140 litres of primer paint in it and the paint moved down the road from Delaware and Thamesville. I’m very excited about the project and how it’s benefitted the community.”
Strathroy-Caradoc mayor Joanne Vanderheyden recognized the hosts of the barn quilts who are “caring for cultural folk art.” With each barn quilt costing approximately $1,000, the sponsors were thanked, along with those who sponsored the original Wardsville trail, the researchers and designers.
A trio of Native singers and drummers shared two numbers before Devost welcomed the crowd to visit sites during Doors Open Middlesex, held that weekend. She announced that Tourism Middlesex has received $55,000 to commemorate the War of 1812. “There are bigger things still to come.”Marie Williams-Gagnon
Transcript & Free Press