Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail
What “really” is the Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail?
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. What is a “barn quilt” The barn quilts will symbolize the story of how the War of 1812 – 1814 affected the lives of women and children. Rural women living along the Longwoods Road are studying this conflict from a women’s point of view. “Broken dishes”… “Moravian Star” …“broken heart” and “ rail fence’ are just some of the quilt block patterns planned for heritage barns between Thamesville, where Tecumseh lost his life in the Battle of the Thames and Delaware, a British encampment near a strip of farms along the Thames River. This section of the Longwoods Road connects with five First Nations communities:
- Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
- Moravian of the Thames First Nation
- Munsee-Delaware First Nation
- Oneida Nation of the Thames and
- Kettle and Stony Point First Nation (on Lake Huron) home of Shawnee descendants of Tecumseh.
We hear about the battles and the fact that neither side actually won/lost the war. What do we know about the suffering of the people? What do we know about the settlers and native people living here? What do we know about the First Nations families who followed their leader, Tecumseh? How did the women and children fare whose homes were destroyed? The aim of this project is to tell the story of the people through the arts – quilting, painting and storytelling. The goal is to interpret the social history of the War of 1812 and the early 19th century.
The main attraction will be barn quilts lining an arts corridor down the Longwoods Road where key stories, landmarks, and sacred places will be represented by barn quilts.