25. St. Louis Historical Society - St. Louis
The Railroad Crossing Block is located at the Pere Marquette train depot on Crawford Street between Main and Franklin Streets in St. Louis. First built in the late 1880s, this wooden depot burned in 1922. People speculated that the fire was a blessing in disguise, as a new depot would be much better than the old one.
In August 1922 a contract was let to Spence Brothers of Saginaw to build a new depot. To avoid another fire, the new 21 by 64-foot building had masonry walls. Extended canopies sheltered passengers leaving and boarding coaches. At one time six daily passenger trains—three each way—stopped in St. Louis. The last passenger train left the depot in 1942. For the next 20 years the depot was used as a freight office and storage area, then it was abandoned for several years.
In 1999 the St. Louis Historical Society acquired the depot and has turned it into a beautiful museum preserving St. Louis history. The site also includes a 1917 Republic Truck, restored log cabin and the original “toll booth” that was on the old Plank Road at the entrance to St. Louis.
26. Linton Family - St. Louis
The Wildflower Block represents that owner's love of wild flowers.
27. Twin City Landscape - St. Louis
The Twin City Landscape, Inc. barn quilt is a Starlight Quilt Block with bright, bold colors representing the colors of plants that Twin City has brought to the Gratiot Community since 1961. The central star is bright green, representing the trees planted by Twin City (estimated to be over 16,500 trees since 1961); the yellow, purple, and blue colors represent the flowering shrubs and perennials that surround the trees; the red represents the Christmas wreaths made by Twin City using materials from Gratiot County.
Gordon and Marilyn Hahn established this business in May of 1961. They were joined in business by their children Mark Hahn, Jill Arnett, and Randy Hahn during the 1980s. Besides the Hahn family, Twin City has employed over 550 people. It was a "first job" for most, but a career for over 15 individuals.
Twin City welcomes you to stop in to their Garden Center while exploring the Quilt Trail.
28. Happy Trails Pet Hotel - St. Louis
This crazy quilt pattern was chosen because of the bright, playful colors. The dogs in the blocks are a representation of the different breeds that have stayed at Happy Trails.
In 1991, Lori and her husband purchased the property where Happy Trails (a pet hotel) now sits. Located across from their home on a dead-end road, it was the perfect location for a boarding facility. The couple opened Happy Trails Pet Hotel in October of 1992 and never looked back. You could say their lives have gone to the dogs!
29. McJilton - St. Louis
The nine block fan quilt on the barn at 1636 E. Monroe Road, St. Louis is representative of a fan quilt sewn by Mable McJilton. Mable was married to Joseph McJilton, who moved from Nebraska to Gratiot County in 1915. Joseph and Mable were the first of four generations of McJiltons to live on the farm. In 2017 this land will become a centennial farm.
30. Sensabaugh - Breckenridge
The Sensabaughs have two daughters and their youngest saw this design and requested it specifically for their quilt square installation. The Sensabaugh daughters are represented on the top, bottom, and sides of the white quilt square background. The light lavender squares represent the crops grown on the farm: wheat, beets, soybeans, and corn.
The barn on which the quilt square is displayed is over one hundred years old and was purchased by the Sensabaugh family in 1943. The present owner, Larry, was born on the farm in January of 1937.
31. Howe Memorial Library - Breckenridge
The Bookcase Block was chosen to represent the one bookcase that was the beginning of the Library. The Library was first established in the 1920s when the Breckenridge Village Board appointed a committee to initiate reading material for the community. The first “bookcase” was in the Village Hall, and the first librarian was hired with a salary of $5.00 per month. Michigan State Library and local citizens donated the first books. Later, the Library was moved to a building on the north side of Saginaw Street, where it functioned until the 1930s, when it moved to the Breckenridge High School. Mrs. Blanche Howe served as the school librarian during this time period. In 1938, the Howe Memorial Library was established as a WPA project under the charge of Mrs. Howe. In 1947, Dr. Leslie Howe’s former office building and lot were deeded by Blanche, his widow, to the Village for a library. This is when the library became Howe Memorial Library. In 1961, the Library purchased the Civic Center Building from the Village, which is now the permanent home of Howe Memorial Library.
32. Neitzke - Breckenridge
The Neitzkes chose this quilt block because it is a very old pattern and was always one of their favorites. The house displaying the quilt square was built in 1937 by Walter Neitzke with wood taken off his property in Porter township, where the oil fields are today. He also transplanted many of the trees from the Porter township property. The current Neitzke family moved to this home in 1983. This house and other buildings on the property have always been owned by the Neitzkes.
33. Wheeler Township Hall - Wheeler
The Wind Turbines Quilt Block shows that this township is rich in agricultural production and has benefited from wind turbines.
Wheeler Township was established by James B. Wheeler in 1861. In 2006, Gratiot Wind LLC started the process of creating a wind farm in Gratiot County. In 2010, the first turbines were erected. Gratiot Wind LLC is the largest wind farm in Michigan with 133 Turbines; 56 of those turbines are located in Wheeler Township.
34. Idle Not Farms - Wheeler
The quilt square that was picked for Story farms is to represent the many years of raising pigs and the grandchildren showing pigs at the Gratiot County Fair. Richard and Shirley Story purchased the 40 acre farm in 1974 from John and Della Story. The farm had been in the Story family for 85 years prior to Richard and Shirley purchasing it. In 1989, it became a centennial farm. On the farm, Richard and Shirley raised crops, livestock, and their three boys: Christopher, Brian and Mark. Richard and Shirley have carried on the family farm tradition of farrowing their own hogs just like Richard’s father Harland Story had done all of his life.
35. Maylee - Merrill
The Maylees have had a collection of decorative chickens for many years. They decorate their home and have several lawn ornaments. When they saw this chicken design block, they knew that would be the block to use.
The Maylee farm house was built in 1918, and they have lived and raised their four children there for the past 49 years.
36. Humm Farms
This block was chosen because of its simplicity. The large block in the center symbolizes the musical connection with the name Humm. The musical notes spell out the name Humm. The blue border is for the rain, which is the lifeblood of a farm, the green portion represents the growing crops, and the yellow center is for the sunshine needed to grow crops. The burgundy squares are included to match the burgundy barn and house roofs.
The Humm Farm is in Emerson Township and had at least five owners prior to the Humm Family. The owner who built the barn is unknown, but the house was built in 1889 by Charles Jessup, according to the 1901 Gratiot County History Book. The farm was purchased around 1927 by Perry and Minn Humm and their sons, Elmer and Lou. It has remained in the family ever since. Perry and his sons worked the farm and gradually added more land in Emerson Township. The farm was passed to Lou and his wife, Ione. They lived on the farm with daughters Vera and Nela. The farm was then purchased by Elmer’s son Loren. Ione Humm passed away in 2004. Since 2004, the farm has been occupied by Loren and Edith Humm. Loren passed away on October 9, 2012. Edith still resides on the farm.