To celebrate the LaGrange County Barn Quilt Tour, we are devoting two blogs a month on information regarding a specific mural you will see dotting the Amish backroads in Northern Indiana.
Even though we have numbered the blogs, the order in which we present the murals isn’t terribly important, as you can begin your own self-guided tour anywhere you would like. Just stop by the Visitors Center at 350 N. Van Buren Street, Shipshewana to pick up a brochure with a map.
We hope you enjoy each blog at it provides a sneak peek into the background of each barn quilt mural and location.
Barn Quilt Mural #18: Dutchman’s Puzzle
The mural on the left of the building, Dutchman’s Puzzle, holds an interesting history from the late 1800s. Claims are that the farmers would hang this quilt to help the slaves escape to freedom as part of the underground railroad. The noise of the geese flying overhead would muffle the sound as slaves tried to escape. The quilt told them which way the geese were flying at that time.
The colors represent some of the bright hues the Amish ladies use for their dresses. They use these same colors from their fabric scraps to make their quilts.
Barn Quilt Mural # 19: Yankee Puzzle
To the right of Dutchman’s Puzzle is Yankee Puzzle, which has a similar history to its counterpart. This pattern is more closely attached to the Civil War. One source said this pattern typically is made in differing shades of grey to create a somber tone, especially after Lincoln’s State of the Union address in 1861. For the Visitor’s Center mural, brighter tones were used.
LaGrange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, located in the Next Door Shops adjacent to Yoder Shopping Center, are visible welcoming signs to tourists as they come into the town. The Shipshewana area and LaGrange County Amish backroads can be a bit of a “puzzle” for the newcomer, so the Visitor’s Center tries to solve the “puzzle” for tourists by giving them interesting things to do while visiting.
Location of Murals:
Visitor’s Center, LaGrange County Convention & Visitors Bureau
350 S Van Buren St., SR 5
Shipshewana, IN 46565
GPS: N 41° 66218. W 085° 58212
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