Category Archives: 7. Our Vision

Thamesville: Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail

Two hundred years ago our community was involved in a war with the United States of America.  Longwoods Road played an important role in the War of 1812-1814.

We hear about the battles and the fact that neither side actually won the war.  What do we know about the suffering of the people?  What do we know about the First Nations families and Nations who were affected?  What do we know about the settlers? The women and children whose homes were destroyed?  What do we know about our history?

The aim of the Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail project is to tell the story of the people through the arts – quilting, weaving, beading and painting.  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. We’ll tell the story via social media on-line.

Re-enactors, historians, and quilters are collaborating to plan a project that would feature two 30-block quilts telling the story of how the war affected the First Nations and settler families.  Once the quilts are designed and the colours and quilt blocks chosen, the communities living along the route can start painting the quilt block designs on murals 8-foot square.  These “barn quilts” will be installed on heritage timberframe barns to mark significant historical locations on the trail.  Key locations include the sites of the Battle of the Thames and the Battle of the Longwoods anchored by the British Encampment (Delaware Speedway) at the east end and Thamesvile at the west end.  The trail will continue west marked by the Tecumseh Parkway which is also in the planning stages.  It is hoped that barn quilts will continue right through to Amherstberg on “Route 1812”, the larger historical loop linking War of 1812 sites scattered throughout rural Ontario.

On May 30, 2011, the Thamesville Historical Society invited Mary Simpson and Denise Corneil to tell them about the project.  Driving back to Chatham after the meeting, quilters Dianne Blonde Pinkerton and Nancy Kominek from the Chatham-Kent Quilt Guild evaluated all the barns west of Thamesville.

While Mary and Denise are currently focussing  on this 65-mile stretch of old Queen’s Highway No. 2, they hope that community groups all over southwestern Ontario will catch the fever.  Inspired by the Temiskaming Barn Quilt Trail, Wardsville stitched their George Ward Commemorative Quilt and painted thirty matching barn quilts in and around Wardsville in 2010.  Oxford, Elgin, Brant, and Norfolk Counties are now planning trails.

For more information call Denise Corneil at 519 693-7002 or Mary Simpson at 519 287 3566      http://obqt.wordpress.com/

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