Barn Quilt Project & Committee
Washington County’s Barn Quilts have been the subject of many national publications, and in 2006, the Tourism Committee of the Washington Chamber of Commerce suggested our county begin the process to show off our great countryside and corresponding barns. In 2007, a committee led by Terry & Julie Mangold (featured on the Agriculture Loop with Cows in the Pasture) began planning, identifying potential barns, and fundraising. The project divided the county into four loops, each with a name that announces a theme informing color and pattern selection. As many as 15-20 barn quilts would go up in one loop per year. While many of the loops are located on hard-surfaced roads, we invite you to cut across an unpaved road and even discover a new location.
Landmarks & Residents
Many out-of-state visitors are surprised to discover that glaciers created Washington County, carving the landscape into a series of drift plains, rolling hills, and shallow valleys. Pioneers were surrounded by prairie grasses and wildflowers that are still visible in over 2,100 protected acres. Agriculture (corn, soybeans, pork, cattle, turkeys, sheep) remain the county’s predominant economic activity.
As you visit our Barn Quilts, we invite you to wind through the beautiful SE Iowa countryside and enjoy:
- The nationally known Amish Community of Kalona.
- An All-American, preserved Historic Downtown in Washington, including the Guinness World Record’s Oldest Continuously Operating Movie Theatre and Tallest Corn Stalk.
- The serenity and natural wildlife at Lake Darling State Park, found in Brighton.
- The future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, from the famed Star Trek series in Riverside.
- The nostalgia of roller skating on a historic wood floor at the skating rink in Wellman.
- Take a stroll on the 14 mile Kewash Nature Trail that was once a former railroad right of way that connects in the middle of West Chester.
- Grab a home cooked meal at the Four Corners Restaurant & Fuel Stop, operated by a local family for over 60 years in Ainsworth.
- Visit the birthplace of the Republican Party in Crawfordsville.
Wherever your journey leads you, we hope you get a chance to meet our friendly folks and hope you discover a few of our treasures in addition to the barn quilts.
Safety Reminders for a Successful Barn Quilt Tour
We’re glad you’re here in Washington County and hope your Barn Quilt Tour is a safe and enjoyable one. Please:
- Observe traffic laws. Remember: Amish buggies have the same traffic rights as cars.
- Be aware of vehicles behind you if you slow down to observe a barn quilt.
- The wide shoulders on our roads are used by the Amish buggies. Please do not park here!
- Be respectful of rights-of-way and owners’ property if you stop.
- Take only photos; leave nothing else behind.
- You may start the tour at any point on the loop. Traveling one loop without stopping should take approximately an hour.