In an effort to boost awareness of Athens County, Ohio and enhance this region's beauty, a community-based group of visual artists, quilters, property owners and civic and social organizations have decorated county barns with quilt squares.
The group has worked with the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The barns are decorated with quilt squares painted on 8-foot by 8-foot wooden panels. The goal is to highlight the heritage of Appalachian Ohio.
Similar projects are ongoing in Vinton, Adams and Monroe Counties of Ohio, as well as counties in Tennessee, Kentucky and Iowa.
About the Blocks on the Bike Challenge:
Passion Flower Block
This Quilt Block is based upon the official flower of The City of Athens, Ohio, produced at Passion Works Studio.
Passion Works Studio supports collaborations between artist with and without developmental disabilities. Since 1998 the studio has created one-of-a-kind art pieces and translated artwork into items such as jewelry, ornaments, flowers, and greeting cards.
Also, since 1984 Project Plant has been doing their part to make Athens a visually inviting place. Following Project Plants example the City of Athens has implemented the “City Beautification Program” with two interns in the late 1990's. Later the City adopted a new Lands and Buildings Department with the Division of Landscaping and Beautification with permanent part-time employee's.
In the past 5 years the city of Athens has planted approximately 659 trees, 1,429 flats of flowers, 740 perennials, 1,714 bulbs, and developed 13 new sites, and 57 flower beds.
Also active in the landscaping and beautification of Athens County are Master Gardeners of the Athens County OSU Extension Agency, Athens City Tree Commission, Athens Gardening Club, Thyme & Again Gardening, Athens Herb Guild, Ohio University, Division of Forestry, and The Athens Soil and Water Conservation District.
Artist: Passion Works Studio
Barn Owner: Jim & Rosanne Krager
Sponsored by: Jim & Rosanne Krager
Painted by: Passion Works Artists
Location: 2510 Sams Rd. Albany, Ohio
The "A" is for Athens County:
Flourishing arts and music scenes, charming communities, family-friendly festivals and a rich history are all here among the stunning natural beauty. Tour the brick streets of Ohio University and enjoy the inviting campus atmosphere. Find a favorite among Nelsonville's unique galleries. Get back to nature on hikes through the foothills. Awaken to fresh air and breathtaking scenery and leave behind the stresses of everyday living. Discover outdoor adventures for thrill seekers, covered bridges, unique attractions and quaint towns for history buffs and cultural centers for art enthusiasts. Around any corner you'll delight in the regional heritage, inspiring architecture, one-of-a-kind festivals plus shops filled with antiques and the wonderful works of area artisans. The amazing variety of things to do and see makes Athens county an ideal destination for the whole family.
Visit the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau for more information .
Ohio’s Appalachian Country is flourishing with rich culture, timeless traditions and genuine hospitality. But the beauty of the area is what strikes people first. Filled with caves and vistas, vast forests and idyllic waterways, it has become a favorite unspoiled retreat, whether you seek camping, inns or full-service hotels. The area's long history of commerce has left it with historical and cultural treasures and the artisans who always have flocked here add a special dimension.
Herman Haerlin, a student of Frederick Law Olmstead (the designer of Central Park), designed what is now The Athens Ridges. The hospital and its grounds were nearly self-sufficient and were known for it's magnificent gardens. The asylum itself was built from bricks which were fired on-site from clay dug on-site.
In the late 1990's Ohio University acquired The Ridges and prepared to renovate it into museum, office, and classroom space. By 2001 renovation work was completed on the main building, which today is known as Lin Hall and houses music, geology, and biotechnology offices, as well as the Kennedy Museum of Art. Nearly all of the dozens of hospital buildings have been remodeled and put to use by the University.
For more information about the Kennedy Museum go to:
Around the turn of the 20th century, the production of clay bricks boomed in the region of Southeastern Ohio. The brick kilns of Nelsonville on State Route 278 just west of town are some of the last vestiges of the once thriving brick industry of Athens County, Ohio. Brick factories were located in Glouster, Trimble, Nelsonville, Athens, and other towns throughout the county.
In Trimble, a fable claims bricks from their plant were used to pave the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1910. A 1980 article in The Athens Messenger confirmed this, citing a 1952 recorded interview with Roy Andrews, who was the foreman of Trimble Block Company. Andrews claimed to have taken the order for the Indianapolis bricks that were used to pave the track.
For more information about Southeastern Ohio and Industry, go to:
This block mimics the leaf of the buckeye tree that is opposite, palmately compound with 5 leaflets. Oval to obviate leaflets are 3 to 6 inches long with a serrated margin, rachis about as long as leaflets.
As a result of a political remark made by an opposition newspaper, a log cabin decorated with raccoon skins and a string of buckeyes became the symbol of General William Henry Harrison's presidential campaign. The nickname for Ohio and its inhabitants--Buckeye--became official in 1953 when the legislature named the Ohio Buckeye the state tree.
The buckeye tree derives the name from its large brown seeds, which resemble the eyes of the white-tailed deer. Instantly dubbed "buckeye" in frontier speech, the mysterious nut was used as a general cure-all for generations. Some believe that the buckeye nut relieves rheumatism pain and provides good fortune when carried in the pockets of their garments or worn as an amulet around the neck.
For more information on Ohio's official tree, go to:
Painted by: Athens Middle School Fall 2005 Advanced Art
Location: 7373 State Rte. 329, Stewart, Ohio
Cat's Paw Block
Based upon the traditional "Bear Paw" block this Tomcat's Paw Block represents the mascot of The Trimble Local School District.
The Glouster, Trimble, Jacksonville area is located at the junction of the three branches of Sunday Creek, the East Branch beginning in Morgan County near Ringgold, the West Branch coming from Buckingham in the western part of Perry county, and the Center Branch which begins in the southern part of Perry County, north of Rendville.
Glouster is at the center of The Little Cities of Black Diamonds, made up of a series of small towns and rural townships in the rugged hills of southern Perry, northern Athens, eastern Hocking and western Morgan Counties of Ohio who share a common story as it pertains to the significant and sudden growth of population and culture in the region during the period of 1870-1920. The extraction of coal, oil, clay and iron ore brought thousands of people to this remote area resulting in the formation of bustling "Little Cities," whose population formed a rich racial and ethnic mix of immigrant and pioneer Americans in search of work, opportunity and prosperity.
Read more About The Little Cities of Black Diamonds:
The Dairy Barn Arts Center’s mission is to promote the arts, crafts and cultural heritage of southeastern Ohio, and to bring to the region the very best of the arts from all over the world. The year-round calendar includes exhibitions, festivals, educational programs and special events.
Built in 1914, the Dairy Barn is listed on the national Register of Historic Places and features a 6500 square-foot gallery. Two of the structure's distinctive architectural elements are its slate roof and three cupolas. It sits on 36 acres of scenic pastoral land.
The Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center was founded in 1978 by Athens natives Harriet and Ora Anderson. The building was at one time a working dairy barn, but when the barn ceased operations in the mid-1970s, the state of Ohio scheduled it for demolition. However, Harriet and Ora, who had been long-time supporters of the arts in southeastern Ohio, had another vision for the barn- a community arts center. They petitioned the governor, and the building was saved just nine days before it was due to be torn down.
Since then the Dairy Barn has become a respected arts center, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Two Dairy Barn shows, Quilt National and Bead International, are recognized international exhibits that represent the cutting edge of their mediums. They draw artists and spectators from around the world and the 50 states.
Although there is no hard documentation, folklore has it that quilts were used to guide slaves through the Underground Railroad. These stories have been passed from one generation to the next since the war years. A Log Cabin quilt hanging in a window or on a clothes line with a black center for the chimney hole was indicative of a safe house. Underground Railroad quilts of the Jacob's Ladder pattern supposedly gave clues as to the safe path to freedom.
To read about a senior project that identified some of the Athens County Underground RR sites visit:
Some of the oldest historical sites in Athens County are Native American burial and ceremonial mounds scattered around the county. Most of these are located in The Plains, located just northwest of Athens on U.S. Rt. 33 and Ohio Rt. 682. The Plains was a religious center of the Adena Indians and also served as a burial ground.
One of the more interesting mounds to visit is the one located in the Indian Mound Campground on 7986 Roundhouse Road
near New Marshfield. Many of the mounds have been researched by archeologists, but many artifacts from Athens County's earliest residents remain buried.
Every year during the fall The Indian Mound Festival is held in The Plains, Ohio
For more history of early inhabitants of Athens County, go to:
The Quilt National logo block is based on a quilt that was made in 1979 the inaugural year of Quilt National. This block was designed by Porter Smith Thayer.
Quilt National is a biennial international juried exhibition of contemporary innovative quilts shown during odd numbered years at The Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio from June to September. At the conclusion of the exhibition at The Dairy Barn, approximately 75 of the quilts begin a two year tour to galleries and museums throughout the country. Nearly all the host venues will have less than 30 of the works on display. Those who see Quilt National at the Dairy Barn are the only ones who see the entire collection.
Quilt National demonstrates the transformations taking place in the world of quilting. Its purpose is to carry the definition of quilting far beyond its traditional parameters and to promote quilt making as what it always has been -- an art form.
The works in a Quilt National exhibit display a reverence for the lessons taught by the makers of the heritage quilts. Many of the works hold fast to the traditional methods of piecing and patching. At the same time, however, the Quilt National artist is intrigued by the challenge of expanding the boundaries of traditional quilt making by utilizing the newest materials and technologies. These innovative works generate strong emotional responses in the viewer while at the same time fulfilling the creative need of the artist to make a totally individual statement.
The Nelsonville Brick Co. 1880-1937. Makers of the "king of all bricks" - The Nelsonville Paver- The Hallwood Block - The Hocking Paver - The Star sidewalk brick.
This company kept the railroads busy carrying their product far and wide. If you are observant may find these brick in Niagara Falls, N.Y., in Philadelphia PA, in cities in Indiana, on platforms of stations, in Chicago and as you ride over the asphalt roads and streets beneath you in Nelsonville is the original road bed of Nelsonville.
Rumor has it that Star Bricks can be found as far away as The Kremlin.
Read more about the brick industry in Athens County....
Painted by: Artisans of Nelsonville Public Square Art District
Location: Robbins Crossing, Nelsonville, Ohio
State of Ohio Block
There was a period when each state "claimed" a block to represent them. The state blocks became quite popular around the 1930's, but they developed much earlier than that as part of the centennial celebrations. The State of Ohio block features a prominent star in the center surrounded by a pattern that represents the buckeye leaf of the state tree.