They’re vivid, large and adorn the side of barns in seven counties across New Jersey.
Barn quilts are a fun way to point out the state’s strong agricultural heritage that predates the nation itself. In fact, agriculture is not only alive and well; it is ripe for the picking, year-round.
Opportunities abound for day-trips exploring farm sites and local businesses catering to every need, interest and season. The Barn Quilt Project can make your journey across the state more enjoyable, educational, as well as entertaining.
Originating in Ohio, barn quilts have grown into a “clothesline of quilts” stretching across the country, including New Jersey. At the beginning of 2011 there were 28 states with barn quilt trails as well as a trail in British Columbia and Ontario, displaying more than 3,000 quilts.
The large, colorful quilt blocks have been mounted on numerous barns across the central and northwestern regions of the state. An initial visit to the Barn Quilt Project website will pique the curiosity and guide visitors to sites around the state.
You will discover the backgrounds of the participating sites and be encouraged to venture on a scavenger hunt of barn quilts across the state. In Warren County, for instance, you will encounter farms with significant history as well as those with seasonal attractions for all.
The Hunt Homestead farm in Phillipsburg has been in the Hunt family since 1758. Currently home to two Morgan horses and a small herd of alpacas, the homestead has produced many crops and livestock over the years.
Perhaps most interesting is the family history that indicates "in the winter of 1778-1779, 60 cavalry horses belonging to the Continental Army were wintered on Hunt's meadows and were returned to the army in the spring in excellent condition." While Gen. George Washington probably didn’t sleep there, some of his horse did!
Mackey’s Orchards, in Belvidere has been in the family for eight generations. Originally used to grow field crops and raise pigs and cows, the first orchard was planted in 1900.
Today, you can visit the farm market, which has seasonal items for sale, a bakery, an ice cream barn, fresh cider in September and a haunted house in October. '
The Warren County Farmers Fair is an annual event held each August in Harmony Township. The Traditional Arts Building is home to the “Sunbeam Barn Quilt” and features American handicrafts and live demonstrations during the fair week.
The Fair also has a second quilt, mounted on the main office and called “County Fair.” Another farm to visit is the Hoff-Vannatta Farm in Harmony Township as well. Hosting a spring and autumn open house each year, the farm boasts uniquely preserved barn architecture in addition to its barn quilt.
Slated to become a living history museum, each open house offers 18th century reenactments from soldiers and craftsmen alike.
For more things to see and do while enjoying the Barn Quilt Trail in Warren County, New Jersey visit highlandstourism.org. As you make plans to venture out on your barn quilt scavenger hunt across the state, please respect the fact that many of them are privately owned and not open to the public.
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