If you look up Quilt Trails online, you can see the story of how they got started. Many states in the U.S. have these trails, mostly on old barns or historical sites in certain towns. We thought while we were in NC., we would check out some, to see how many trails we could fit the squares together. There are around 200 in this area, so we probably won’t see them all this year. We started with Swain county. We found all 11, plus a bonus one. I will list them here with where they were found, along with a brief description of their meaning and some pictures. The first one is pictured above. It is located at the Bryson City Chamber of Commerce, 210 Main Street and is called the Appalachian Dream. It was the first quilt square hung in Bryson City/Swain County and represents it’s people, culture, and heritage. Square number 2 is located at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Depot on 226 Evert Street. It is called the Railroad Spirit and it honors railroad pioneers that opened the area to commerce.
The third square is located at the intersection of Bryson Street and Ramseur in Island Park (an awesome Park that really is an Island surrounded by river in the middle of Bryson City. I will post pictures of Island park in our photos. It is a must on a hot day to go relax in the water, or go rafting, or even just for a nice picnic.) The quilt square there is called the Double Wedding Ring and it celebrates the woodlands and flowers.
The fourth quilt square is at 3336 Balltown Road, at Lands Creek Log Cabins. It is called the Harmony Square and it represents the harmony they hope to provide and the mountain pioneers.
The fifth square is called the Dresenden Plate and was designed from a popular quilt pattern from the 1920s based of plate designs from Dresenden, Germany that showed off flowers. The quilt square was originally made in 1978 by the owner of the gallery where it is now displayed, The Wild Fern Studios and Gallery on 19 Everett Street.The sixth quilt square in located on a large red barn on 755 E Alarka Road, inside Smoky Mountain Meadows Campground. It represents the East Alarka Mountains, which the barn has faced since it was erected in 1950s.
The seventh quilt square is called Around Deep Creek and is at Deep Creek Tube Center and Campground located on 1090 West Deep Creek Road (all these addresses are Bryson City by the way). This square is custom designed to show the beauty of the cabins, tents, animals in the area, tubes, and scenery of the river and the campground. It was getting dark when we took these pictures, so I will have to lighten the quilt square picture and repost it in our travel photos.
The eighth square is at the Calhoun House Inn and Suites on 110 Bryson Avenue. It is called the American Dream and is representative of the American Landmark, originally built in the 1920s.Quilt squares 9, 10, and 11 are all on the Southwestern Community College Swain Center Campus on 60 Almond School Road. I think these are my favorites. The first one is located of the south side of the building and is called the Indian Trail. It signifies the keeping of the “trail” open for students to better themselves. It also represents the Swain Center, Qualla Boundary, and Little Tennessee river.The next square is on the west facing entrance and is called the Celtic Chain. It represents the connections with the college, families, and students.The final quilt square is on the north end and is called the Red Flower Bud. It represents all beauty- natural and man-made.The college also has a nice little artistic “Kayak Ranch” displayed out front by the highway. It’s perfect for this area, since it’s surrounded by rivers and people come from all over to enjoy kayaking and rafting.
There was one other quilt square we saw on an individual’s barn. It is not on the swain county quilt trail site, but people can get their own quilt squares as long as they go through the proper steps to make sure they have not copied and to be sure they have a certain historical or community meaning. Short of trespassing to ask, we don’t know the meaning of this one, but if anyone does, let us know. You can go to http://www.greatsmokies.com/quilt-trail/index.html to see where we found the addresses to go take our live photos. It was an awesome trip. These squares were all within minutes of each other. Some counties squares are spaces much farther apart, may miles over. But that will just add to the fun in our travels.