Using fabric, film, paint and pen, local citizens, local service clubs, schools and businesses created a monumental project that spans boundaries in this beautiful rural area. Following along the Thames River valley along 65 kms of the original Longwoods Trail is an art corridor that commemorates the War of 1812-14.
In 1811, the original Indian trail along an almost uninterrupted tract of Carolinian Forest known as “the Longwoods” was widened to accommodate gun carriages. Two hundred years later, this same section of road, the old King’s Highway #2, is an “arts corridor” lined with barn quilts.
One hundred 8-foot square murals are installed on barns along a 65-kilometre section of old Highway 2 (Longwoods Road) running from the Tecumseh Monument near Thamesville to the Delaware Speedway. This LongwoodsBarnQuiltTrail is also a section of the Route 1812, a heritage trail that loops from Amherstburg to Dundurn Castle in Hamilton. The Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail also links to Chatham-Kent’s Tecumseh Parkway at the west end.
The Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail began in the summer of 2009 when the village of Wardsville started preparing for its 2010 bicentennial commemorating their local family, Mr. and Mrs. George Ward – characters of the War of 1812 whose story was told through a beautiful fabric quilt and a 30 block Barn Quilt collection in around the village. Thirty barn quilts expanded into the Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail which extended into South Caradoc as well as Chippewa of the Thames community. This next stage was part of the Southwest Ontario Barn Quilt Trails project which involved five counties: Elgin, Oxford, Norfolk, Middlesex, and Brant which fit in with the strategic plan of SCOR, the South Central Ontario Region and was partially funded by the Sand Plains Community Development Fund.
Communities across Ontario are using barn quilts to tell their stories. What better way to share history than by displaying folk art on our disappearing timberframe barns? Dulux Paints donated the paint. Northcott Silk Inc. donated the fabric for three story quilts. The owners of the heritage barns along the Longwoods Road generously offered to host the barn quilts. Maps and details can be found at https://longwoodsbarnquilts.ca/
Click on the Barn Quilt Stories page and you’ll find the tales of women and their families and how they fared during the war.
Click on the Maps link and you’ll find five different maps. Some are meant to print to take along and others are google maps that can also be printed or used on your handheld device while out on the road.
Get off the 401!
Travel the Longwoods Road between London and Chatham ON. Come and visit us for a leisurely tour of this historic road in Ontario’s Southwest.
Revised Feb 2014 by the Barn Quilt Ladies: Denise and Mary