OHIO VALLEY — Quilt squares have been placed on barns for years as a way to honor or represent a person, memory or loved thing. In Mason County, there is a trail of over 30 quilt squares — each with a special meaning.
The Mason County Quilt Trail came to be thanks to the efforts of Denny Bellamy of the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), and a few community members and volunteers in 2001. There are four driving trails to view the quilts, according to the visitors guide map. As previously reported by Ohio Valley Publishing, students at the Mason County Career Center helped to cut the wooden squares for the quilts. Other volunteers helped to design and paint the blocks.
Bellamy said that Mollie Yauger was the first to mention a quilt trail and he promised her a type of visitors’ guide solely dedicated to the quilt blocks. Bellamy said that he is in the process of working on a magazine-style guide that includes all the quilt squares on the trail — which includes a few more than the original 30 that appear in the Mason County Visitors’ Guide.
Bellamy said this new book with include global positioning system (GPS) coordinates along with the addresses. Coordinates have been requested by many of the trail travelers as an easier way to locate the quilt squares.
The tourism center states the quilt trail promotes agri-tourism and pride for Mason County.
The quilt guide should include meanings behind the specific quilt squares. For example, the star lily quilt square at the Johnson farm on Ripley Road was chosen as a memorial to the thousands of lilies that once bloomed on their property.
The hunters’ star on Route 35 was reportedly chosen to represent the nearby Chief Cornstalk Wildlife Management Area. There is also a pineapple square at the CVB center as a sign of hospitality. The first quilt square, on Yauger’s barn, is a maple leaf.
Some of the quilts along the trail include:
Pineapple square — Mason County Tourism Center; 210 Viand Street, Point Pleasant.
Delectable Mountains — USDA Agriculture Service Center; 224 First Street, Point Pleasant
Star Lilly — Steve and Judy Johnson; 9343 Ripley Road, Point Pleasant
Log Cabin — W.Va. State Farm Museum; 1458 Fairground Road, Point Pleasant
Folded Double Star — Larry and Patty Hudson; 4656 Sandhill Road, Point Pleasant
Grandma Fanny’s — Ed and Rita Lowe; 10472 Ripley Road, Point Pleasant
Double Star — Carl and Edna Jefferson; 4631 Greer Road, Point Pleasant
God’s Eye — Jack and Claudia Burris; 5200 Seven Mile Ridge Road, Apple Grove
Modernized Milky Way — Tim and Debi Cottrill; 10273 Ohio River Road, West Columbia
Grandmother’s Daisy — Bob’s Market and Greenhouse, Inc.; 211 Second Street, Mason
Star of Bethlehem — Eleanor Hoffman; 7264 Longdale Road, Letart
Hole in the Barn Door — Christopher Thomas; 1953 Leon Baden Road, Leon
Lucky Clover — Gregory Dunham; 990 Leon Baden Road, Leon
Lone Star — Betty Hudson; 2097 Three Mile Road, Henderson
Hunters’ Star — Butch and Zelma Meadows; 25101 Kanawha Valley Road, Southside
Postage Stamp — Manford and Nina Bowles; 26488 Kanawah Valley Road, Southside
Crown of Thorns — Sherry Goodall; 13580 Cornstalk Road, Southside
Interwoven Star — Fonda Burris; 10568 Black Oak Road, Fraziers Bottom
Dreama’s Star — Roger and Dreama Powell; 5575 Zid Camp Road, Ashton
A full list and map of properties along the Quilt Trail — including Hope of Hartford, Belt Buckle, Double Wedding Rings, An American Heart, Mail Pouch, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Mariner’s Compass, Douglass Star, Maple Leaf, Turkey Tracks, Liberty Star, Indian Arrowheads and Bicentennial Square — can be found at the Mason County tourism center, which is located at the foot of the Bartow Jones Bridge.
Gallia County is also home to a unique trail which connects rural communities in living, vibrant color.
The Gallia County Quilt Barn trail captures a way of life that reaches back to the settling of the area. In 2007, the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau started the trail as a way to promote local history and tourism to the lesser visited areas of the county
Each of the barns on the list feature a quilt pattern painted on to an eight-foot-by-eight-foot square and then fastened to the side of the barn, visible from the main roadway where it can be seen by tourists and have some kind of historical story or reason to be on the trail. Each barn that was added to the list tells a piece of history or culture in Gallia.
For more information on the trail, contact the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 441 Second Avenue in Gallipolis, 740-446-6882.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
(Editor’s note: Portions of this article pertaining to the Gallia Quilt Barn Trail appeared in a previous edition.)
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.