The Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail wanders across Ohio’s largest county and takes visitors to orchards, wineries, working farms, historic sites and residences. Launched in early 2014, it has already grown to more than four-dozen barn quilts placed throughout the county.
The first barn quilt on the tour was placed on the John Blakeslee Plymouth Township property. The area and structures are managed by the Ashtabula County Historical Society to help visitors experience the pioneer way of life. Students from the Ashtabula County Joint Vocational School constructed the barn that features the barn quilt. It uses native lumber and the interior siding is from the Mechanicsville covered bridge. The barn was selected as the first barn quilt in the county because of its ties to the earliest years of settlement.
While the barn quilt tour is open year round, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17 and 18, several wineries will hold a Wine Tour, with proceeds to benefit the Barn Quilt Trail. Wineries include Pairings in Geneva, the Winery at Spring Hill in Harpersfield Township, Grand River Cellars and Debonne Vineyards in Madison, and the Old Firehouse Winery in Geneva on the Lake.
This is a fun way to enjoy the both the colors of the season and local wines while supporting the Barn Quilt Trail. The cost is $4 per person at each location, and includes two wine samples and a light appetizer. Each location features a barn quilt; a winery host will share the story of the quilt with the tour visitors. This special event runs from noon to 6 p.m. each day, and you can start the tour at any of the five participating locations. At the end of the tour, leave your passport at your final winery stop for a chance to win a grand prize worth $100.
But, you can’t take a trip to Ashtabula – Ohio’s covered bridge capital – without seeing a covered bridge or two. Why not check out the Graham Road covered bridge, which was built across the west branch of the Ashtabula River in 1913? The current bridge was installed after a flood washed out the previous bridge. It was relocated in 1971 to land donated by the Benson family when it became necessary to remove the antiquated structure. This barn quilt is one of the first quilts placed, was completed in honor of Mr. Benson, his family and grandfather, who helped reassemble the bridge in 1913.
To see a gallery guide of each of Ashtabula County’s barn quilts and the story of their host buildings, click here. Each listing also includes the quilt pattern, owner, and address to make finding it a snap. Please note that if no photo is present, the quilt has not yet been installed, so don’t plan to visit a location that does not have a photo.
Click here to download a convenient driving map that features 42 quilt locations, including several wineries and covered bridges.