Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vicksburg Quilt Trail, Vicksburg, Michigan

On our way to the annual Baker Reunion in New York state, we decided to take a new route and stop to visit friends on the way.  We were heading toward Lansing, Michigan and found out there was a quilt trail on the way.

First quilt we saw was in downtown Vicksburg on the side of the building of Unique Furnishings and Other Stuff.
They set the block on point to be unique like the shop.
The pattern was chosen because American Lotus water lillies grew on Sunset Lake.
It seems that tourist came in August to see the large blooms.  The plants disappeared in the 1920's because of over harvesting of the seedpods.

This one is called "Pure Michigan Maple".
The couple that own the "barn on Kalamazoo Avenue", make maple syrup. This was a great choice for their block.

A closeup of the block.
Waterwheel is on the side of the building for Rawlinson's Appliances.
This building began its life as a grocery, in the 1880's.
by 1925 it housed the village offices and the police department and jail.
The current owner invites persons to sit in the old jail complete with bunks and toilets.
Waterwheel highlights Vickers Mill, which began in the 1830's just west of the store in Clark Park.

Fanny's Fan
In 1902 Mrs. Fanny Bair, built a brick Romanesques library that is now a historical site.  It featured "modern" conveniences as electric lights and running water. The block was painted from 1902 color chips and is near the original entrance to the library.

Broken Star
This western style barn was built in 1881 using nearby materials. It has a gable roofline.

Look closely at the block. The challenge of painting it to look like real fabric went to the local high school art students.
Everyone signed the block

The family that owns this farm had five kids.  After plowing it was fun to find arrowheads on this former Indian hunting land near the Portage River.
The students that painted this barn quilt used the colors for the Indian spiritual elements of air, earth, fire, and water.

Drunkard's Path
This is a replication of a ladies great grandmother's late 1800 quilt.
This block was popular with the women of the temperance movement.
They urged abstinence from all spirits.

Bluebirds or Dove in the Window
The original crop grown in the lowlands of the area back in the 1800's was Mint.
You can still smell it when the area is mowed.
There eventually cam dairy cows and draft horses. The couple that own it now purchased the farm in 1991 and brought with them Arabian horses.
There is also a Victorian home on the property.  The couple love the bluebirds that arrive in the spring.

Hunter's Star
This quilt highlights the Bear Creek Game Ranch that was began in 2008.  They specialize in deer and pheasant hunts. The Bear Creek meanders through the 120 acres.
The farm was established in 1845. The barn has a gambrel roofline and unusual lightning rods.

They say this barn is supposed to be the tallest in Kalamazoo County.
It is a bank barn where horses could pull a wagon up through the tall doors,. The family that owns this farm chose the pattern because they love stars.
Starlight was designed for the late 1800's American nursery rhyme.  Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight.
Don't forget to make your wish!

County Fair

Patriotic Star
This barn was built in 1901.  Someone had the foresight of putting the date in the concrete.
This is another bank barn.  It has a single 60 foot beam supporting the floor.
The couple that own this farm were drawn to the block to display their pride in the U.S.A.

County Fair
It was said that this barn required 20 acres of timber to build it. Local teams play basketball inside it.  The block was chosen as a memorial to the owners husband, who helped their two children with 4-H activities.  Several livestock awards were won at the Kalamazoo County Fair.  Notice the 4 H colors.

There are currently 24 quilt blocks along this trail.  These are the few we did get to visit on our way.  It was nice too, that this trail had a brochure to identify the blocks.
If you are ever in the area, don't forget to check it out.

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