A MBPN mini-grant project

Download brochure/map here
Download PDF building instructions here

A quilt-barn tourism trail has bloomed in Old Mission Peninsula (Traverse City) in time for fall color season. This project was conceived of and led by Evelyn Johnson, MBPN Board member and author of Barns of Old Mission Peninsula (2006). Evie – and friends, during a ladies-trip, discovered and were inspired by quilt barn tours in other states and in Alcona Co. Michigan. This grassroots project brought private, farming, and business barn owners together to create another reason for a fall color tour –and express their pride in this lovely place – Old Mission Peninsula.


Ten barns throughout the peninsula now sport painted quilt block designs that add to the landscape and surprise folks as they drive or bicycle. As you approach the crest of Carpenter Hill about 1.7 miles out Old Mission Peninsula on Center Road you see a shiny metal roof of a barn gleaming about 3 miles off. This is the first quilt barn visible on this twenty-mile long Quilt Barn Tour.

The quilt designs you will see on Old Mission barns have been chosen and financed by the barn owners themselves. These images have historical and personal significance to the barn owners. Some choose traditional quilt block designs and others created designs that reflect their lives, work, and values.

Brothers Tree Service donated their assistance lifting and placing quilt panels onto the barns. Eric Olsen, designer and builder led that effort. In addition to barn owners, individuals, and businesses within the community, donations and assistance were provided by Behr Paint Co., Michigan Barn Preservation Network leadership and staff of the Michigan State University Museum. They were wonderful help.


Take the Tour

Gray/Springer Barn (1904) Susan and Walt Feiger's Barn (1910) Carl and Suzanne Lehto's Barn (1912) Fran and Jim Krupkas Barn ca(1910)
Brendan and Teri Keenan Barn Glen and Becky Chown Barn (1870) Dean and Laura Johnson’s barn (1909) Shirley Miller Barn

Select from any of the photos above and a larger window will appear with that photo.  Text at the bottom of the photo describes the barn, its owners, and a brief description of the history.  You can then scroll through the other photos by either using the mouse scroll wheel or by moving the cursor to the right or left side of the photo and clicking on the arrow.

barns Grand Traverse Winery Barn (owned for many years by the Kroupa/ Kniss family) now supports a vineyard. Sean O’Keefe selected “Red Bird” as the quilt pattern because it reminded him of the birds that fly about the vineyard every fall.

barns Walter and Mary Johnson’s barn (1880) is a part of a working cherry farm. It is appropriate that cherries are at the center of the pattern surrounded by a windmill quilt design. Their location has always been known to be a windy hill.


Information contact:

Evelyn and Carl Johnson, project directors at: eladybugtc@charter.net
Evelyn is a MI Barn Preservation Board Member

PO Box 614
Mount Pleasant, MI