Fulton County epitomizes rural Pennsylvania.
The county is filled with small towns, charming backroads, farm fields and mountains that frame the whole scene. It’s a perfect spot for a country drive.
And that’s just what the folks in Fulton County hope you will do.
Fulton County has stitched together the Frontier Barn Quilt Trail, with 130 painted quilt patterns posted on barns and businesses across the county. It’s a way to explore Pennsylvania’s “best kept secret,” said Mike Crampton, a volunteer with the Fulton County Historical Society, which sponsors the trail.
Crampton and others in Fulton County started the project in 2014 after reading about similar efforts in Ohio. Volunteers reached out to farmers and businesses to see if they would be interested in having a quilt square on their buildings.
Families participating in the program can pick out quilt squares—perhaps an old family pattern—or work with the historical society to choose the appropriate one. The squares are then designed, painted, and placed on buildings.
Quilt squares have to be placed in an area that is visible from the road. Visitors are encouraged to safely pull off the road to view or take pictures of the squares.
Deb Palmer, whose family owns a dairy farm in the county, has two quilt squares on buildings they own. One depicts butter churning—they are dairy farmers after all—while the other is a cross pattern with the letter “P” in the middle.
“This is a great project. It has really taken off and people have an interest in it,” Palmer said. “They are interesting to drive around and look at.”
Palmer appreciates the way they look on buildings and barns across the county.
“I think the older looking the building, the better the quilts look,” she said.
Fulton County—a long and narrow county along the Maryland border—has put together several different driving suggestions for people to visit the quilt squares. Seeing each one would be a several-day endeavor, Crampton said.
But all the driving through the county would give visitors a fantastic introduction to what Fulton County has to offer.
“It’s a large agriculture area, with beautiful rolling, scenic hills,” Crampton said. “We call it Pennsylvania’s best kept secret.”
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