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.
Just a short distance from downtown Howe, and an even shorter distance from Howe Military School and Village View Bed and Breakfast, is the rural and beautiful location of F.B.I. Farms and two murals, “Shoo Fly” and “International Harvester.”
Barn Quilt Mural #8: Shoo Fly
Susan Burger, who helps run the 2,800-acre farm along with other family, says she chose this pattern because of family memories associated with the pattern. Susan writes, “My daughter Sylvia grew up on the farm and spent a lot of time in the barn playing. When the flies would come around, she would swipe them off her arm and face, the whole time, singing:
Shoo fly, don’t bother me,
Shoo fly, don’t bother me,
‘Cause I belong to somebody!
“If you’ve ever lived on a farm with livestock, you know you will have a lot of flies, and Sylvia found a happy way to contend with them.”
Barn Quilt Mural #9: International Harvester
Not only does the F.B.I. dairy barn hold 120 Holstein dairy cattle that get milked twice a day, it is also the location of the International Harvester barn quilt mural.
With the lowercase “i” painted in brick red at the center of the uppercase, deep blue “H,” the Burgers pay tribute to what is today known as “Case IH,” when in 1902 was founded by Cyrus McCormick as International Harvester.
“My nephew wanted to use the logo in memory of my recently-deceased father,” relates Susan. “Dad used only the red tractors.”
Susan’s Dad, Ivan Burger, was related to the Burger Dairy family from New Paris, a former business familiar to many locals.
F.B.I. Farms, Inc., also known locally as “The Tingley Farm,” holds an interesting past.
First of all, the barn on which the quilt mural resides was built in 1887. The Tingley family purchased the farm in 1911 and then sold it to the Burger family in 1985. Susan writes that they have maintained the “Tingley” name because not only is the farm a community landmark, but also because “if you are very quiet, you can still feel the presence of Mr. Tingley.”
A second historical fact about the farm is that it was the home to several ponies used at Howe Military’s Summer Camp.
While other interesting tidbits are also true about F.B.I. Farms, a third fact is that it was named the “most beautiful farm in the county” in 1938, according to Susan.
Location of Mural:
Tingley Farm/FBI Farms, Inc.
6605 N. 375 E
Howe, IN 46746
For more information on this and other LaGrange County Barn Quilt Tour blogs, visit www.VisitShipshewana.org.
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