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 CVB 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 Murals #3: Mariner’s Compass and Big Dipper
Less than a half-mile west of downtown Shipshewana stands a round barn, the only polygonal barn in Indiana constructed of material other than wood, that features not one but two murals.
The larger mural showcases “Mariner’s Compass.” This mural reflects an old historical pattern that bringing to mind those dangerous seas of long ago as the ship’s captain would struggle to find his way through water’s thick fog.
The smaller of the two murals is “”Big Dipper,” with its earthy blues, greens, and orange. It complements the larger mural in that sailors often looked at the location of this seven-star group in the night sky to help them determine their direction on the water.
According to owners Malcolm and Sharron Prough, the barn was built by Menno S. Yoder in 1908. Yoder rode his bicycle to South Bend during that time to watch the construction of a bridge, and his own idea was born for the shape of the barn.
The cement was hand-mixed each day and used to create the walls of the barn; while the concrete set, the boards were put in place. This process was both time and labor-intensive a hundred years ago without the use of machines or equipment.
Painted on the barn are the words “Brown Swiss Dairy,” which is a breed of dairy cattle. At one point, this farm was the largest dairy farm in Indiana that used this particular breed.
The farm’s ownership has stayed within the original family since its construction in 1908.
Location of Mural:
8690 West, 250 North, Shipshewana
GPS: N 41° 40.568 W 085° 18.939
For more information on this and other LaGrange County Barn Quilt Tour blogs, visit www.VisitShipshewana.org by clicking here, and then click on any blog link.