County will soon have a barn quilt trail

October 24, 2013

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 PERE MARQUETTE TWP. — A group of 25 people, many who own barns around the county, met Tuesday night at the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce office to discuss a new project that will embrace agricultural heritage. A new barn quilt trail is being planned as part of Mason County’s cultural economic plan.

The meeting was led by Dr. Bill Anderson, chairman of the Mason County Cultural Economic Committee and Marcia Hansen, chairwoman of the barn quilt committee.

A barn quilt is not an actual piece of fabric but rather an 8-foot by 8-foot design painted on plywood.

The first quilt is already on display on a barn at the Mason County Fairgrounds. That quilt has a nautical theme and faces west, towards Lake Michigan.

Hansen said the goal is to have a minimum of 10 quilts on barns around the county. The barn quilt trail will be part of the six cultural trails planned for Mason County. The goal is for it to be launched as part of the 2014 Scottville Harvest Festival.

The first of the six trails was introduced this past summer with the Lumber Heritage Trail.

Like the lumber heritage trail, the barn quilt trail will be interactive. While people viewing the quilts will be discouraged from trespassing, they will have the ability to access information of the quilt and the history of the farm by using their mobile phones.

The lumber trail features a narrative that can be heard on the phone, accessed by either dialing a number or scanning the QR code.

In order to maintain quality, in order for the quilt to be on the official trail it must be approved by the committee. However, the owner of the barn will own the quilt and will be able to choose the design. The owner will also be responsible for the painting of the quilt.

Anderson stressed that it is important to keep a high standard. The quilts will not be allowed to advertise a product or a business. However, they can feature symbols that are part of the family’s or farm’s heritage.

Barn owners interested in participating need to fill out an application, which is available by contacting the Ludington Area Visitors and Convention Bureau at 231-845-0324 or by visiting www.pureludington.org

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