8 Point Star
1. Brenda and William Vernon, 3715 9th Line, Bradford/Gwillimbury:
William & Brenda Vernon bought this property in 1976 from Orville Hughes who was the Warden of Simcoe County.
They built their home and have resided at Fishers' Corners for forty-two years. Their son, David, was married in 1995 on the front lawns of the property and the barn was featured in the 'Vanishing Barns of Bradford West Gwillimbury (BWG)' calendar, which was published in 2013.
In 2000 William built and erected a 55 foot wooden windmill tower on which he placed the original head and vane of a Baker Cley Windmill that Brenda's grandfather Murphy made for his farm in 1913. The Murphy family's agricultural roots are very much alive today; Brenda's cousins own and run Murphy's Farm Market and Bakery located at 5141 County Rd. 10, just north of Alliston.
The vibrant 8 point star that now adorns the Vernon's barn reflects William and Brenda's pride of their agricultural heritage, their many happy memories and their desire to see smiles on the faces of all the people that go by.
*The 8 point star was painted by a volunteer group of painters at the Gibson Centre in Alliston.
Celebrate CANADA 150
2. Brian and Diane Strachan, 929 Line 4 South in Oro-Medonte:
The barn located at 929 Line 4 South in Oro-Medonte was built around 1920 and is a traditional Bank Barn, the name for a barn that was built into the side of a hill or sloped ground. Brian and Diane Strachan have been proud owners of the property since 1998. Together with their family they repaired and painted the barn in 2011. In 2017 Diane Strachan designed the quilt pattern and along with her good friend and fellow artist Lisa Lubinsky painted the quilt to celebrate CANADA 150.
The center of the quilt represents a compass pointing to the North, South, East and West of Canada with the Maple Leaves representing the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The Border brings it all together as One!
3. The Kennie Family, “This Old Barn" 2203 Ski Trails Rd., Oro-Medonte
When the Kennie family first purchased the property, they joked that they had bought an old barn. They were captivated by the craftsmanship and work involved in the construction of the early 1900's century barn and their new homestead was quickly dubbed “This Old Barn". The barn is now used as a design studio where Sharon Kennie creates winter greens for sale in the Christmas season. The family stays busy tending to their large organic garden, running a coop & chicken rental service and breaking up frequent wrestling matches between goat and dog.
The Kennie family chose to paint their quilt at home as a family. They call their design a “Friendship Star" since it represents their relationship with the township, the rich friendships that they have made there and the gratitude that they feel to call the area home. They are excited to be a part of Simcoe County's Barn Quilt Trail and hope that “This Old Barn" will stand as a reminder of Oro-Medonte's motto: “Proud Heritage, Exciting Future".
4. Neil Craig, 3618 Penetanguishene Road Oro-Medonte
This low lying set of barns sit on lot 43, Concession 1 in Oro-Medonte. They replaced pre-existing
log barns and were built between 1850 and 1907. This land is one of the only farms on the Penetanguishene Road that is still in the same family name as when deeded from the Crown. John Craig was granted this land in 1821, across the road from his father Thomas Craig, who settled in 1819. John Craig was Postmaster, Reeve of Medonte, Warden of Simcoe County, Justice of the Peace and Clerk of the Fifth Division Court. In 1858 the village of Craighurst was named in his honour.
This barn quilt that adorns this barn reflects the farm owner's appreciation for Oliver Tractors, a type of tractor that Neil Craig has collected over the years. The green, red and yellow colours were particular to Oliver. The quilt depicts the distinctive grills of Oliver Tractor's Fleetline Series, models 66, 77, 88 and 99 models.
The quilt was painted by Neil's brother Allan, an artist who lives and runs a gallery out of the house across the road from Neil, on the very land that their Thomas Craig settled in 1819.
This quilt was designed with input from several of the Craig family members and painted by Neil's brother Allan Craig, whose own barn quilt hangs just across the road.
5. Allan Craig's Quilt 3617 Penetanguishene Road, Oro-Medonte
This barn quilt is attached to the barn that rests on the land that Thomas Craig and his wife Elizabeth Teasdale homesteaded in 1819. They came from Kendal, England and were some of the first families to settle in this part of Upper Canada. With their two sons John and Thomas Junior they cleared the land, built a log home, and farmed. Thomas Jr. married Matilda Crawford, and had 7 children, and his great great grandchildren still live on these original land grants. The other son John Craig become Postmaster, Reeve of Medonte, Warden of Simcoe County. Justice of the Peace, Clerk of the Fifth Division Court, donor of land for Craighurst School and St John's Anglican Church. In 1858 the village was renamed “Craighurst" to honour these influential early pioneers.
The quilt pattern that was chosen, the Star, brings together both old and new designs. The tetrahedral plan - tumbling block - passes through the “Op. Art “(Optical Art) movement of the Modern era. Yet the arrangement of triangles is quite ancient and is revisited generationally in the art world. The colours used define and subtly hide the six pointed universal star and the open, rolling cube.
A barn's architectural strength comes from the use of structural triangles. The ridges slope and peak, the inner support of mortise and tenon beams, both convey the hardiness and vigour of the barn. The power of the triangle is omnipotent. Even if one triangle was removed the sturdiness of the form prevails. The barn represents the strength of the rural demography and the colours represent the all-inclusiveness of a strong community.
This quilt was designed and painted by the barn owner, Allan Craig
6. Debbie Giffen, 3913 Hwy 26, Minesing
The original Gilchrist of Riverview farm was Pete Gilchrist who migrated from the Island of Islay, Scotland in the 1800s with his parents John Gilchrist and Janet McCuaig. He bought the farm for $2500 from Samuel Walker in 1876, who was the first farmer on Lot 1 Concession 12.
Pete sold the farm to his son Alex who later sold it on to his son Peter. In 1944, Aubrey Giffen bought the farm from Peter Gilchrist, Aubrey's uncle.
The barn that stands to the side of the hill was moved from another site on the farm and is now a Bank Barn, a barn that is built into the side of a hill or slope. In 1876 a devastating fire tore through the region and decimated most of the forests that stood between what is now known as Wasaga Beach all the way to the village of Edenvale. The scars of this devastating fire can still be seen in much of the timber that was used to build the Giffen's barn.
The barn quilt reflects the Scottish heritage of both the Gilchrist and Giffen families through the depiction of the family's tartan and a Celtic cross overlaid by a Scottish Thistle.
This quilt was painted by volunteer painters Maggie Cowan and Leonard Bevan at the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts (BMFA).
7. Gary and Frances Kenny, 3068 Flos Road 6 West, Phelpston
Gary and Frances Kenny bought their farm at Lot 22, Concession 6 in 1983. Both came from farming backgrounds and were raised in the area.
As far as the family can tell, the barn was built sometime around 1890 to 1900. When the barn was built the foundation was sitting on posts and covered with boards. All the beams for the structure of the barn were all “hand hewed" and many bear the same burn marks as other barns in the area, a remnant from a devastating fire that tore through the area in 1876. In approximately 1949 the foundation was changed to cedar block walls for the stables, which made it much warmer for the animals inside.
The Frances and Gary's sons along with Gary chose the quilt pattern Mother's Choice and the mother, Frances Kenny chose the colours – the perfect complement to their big green barn and a wonderful celebration of Canada's Sesquicentennial.
This quilt was painted by volunteer painters: Gayle Schultz and Patricia Andrew
8. Marianne Schlueter, 4527 10th Line, Beeton
Marianne, her husband Artur, and their three children emigrated from Germany in 1966 with the dream of transplanting Artur's agricultural roots to Canada. They spent their first few years in Toronto and in 1976 realized their dream when they bought a farm at the corner of Hwy 27 and the 10th Line, just north of Beeton. In 1987 Marianne and Artur expanded their operation by buying the farm that was located across the road from them, 4527 10th Line. The family moved to this property in 1987 and it is here where you will find the Schlueter's barn quilt proudly displayed.
Marianne learned of the Simcoe County Barn Quilt Trail project through an ad that was posted in the Farm review and called in to express her interest straight away. Together with her friend, Pamela Hilverda, and members of her family, Marianne selected the pinwheel design and its colours, while the quilt itself was painted by volunteer painters from Collingwood Collegiate Institute.
Although Artur passed away a few years ago, the farm is still a lively and vibrant place. Marianne spends her time tending to her chickens, bees, cats and dog and takes great delight from the farm-life that she and Artur built together. Her barn quilt is a reflection of this.
9. Sheila Abbott: 4432 15th Sideroad, Cookstown
Sheila Abbott has wanted to live on a farm since she was 10 years old. She bought her farm ten years ago, and feels that she is finally living a life that is even greater than the dreams that she has had since she was a small child.
When asked why she wanted to participate in the project Sheila said: “There are no words to describe how very grateful I am to the people who built this magnificent barn one hundred and fifty years ago. Would that I could go back in time and meet those brilliant, hardworking folk." It is her true pleasure to continue to maintain and preserve this symbol of the community's heritage.
Sheila chose the Carpenter's Wheel barn quilt pattern in honour of her father, who was a woodworking craftsman. The quilt was painted by volunteer artist Shirra Harris from Collingwood.
Sheila's farm is home to a number of horses, goats, chickens, bees and dogs. Her German Shepherd prides himself on how well he takes protects his charge, so please be sure to enjoy the views of this gorgeous barn quilt from the safety of the shoulder of the road!
10. Jane and George Jackson: 4896 Conc. Rd. 5, Alliston, ON L9R 1V1