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The tour takes place in Ryde, the 136-year-old former township that was one of the first parts of Muskoka to be settled by the Free Methodist pioneers. Back in the day, Free Methodist women were not allowed to be idle, so they socialized by making quilts together. Last year, a group of locals organized a driving tour called the Ryde Barn Quilt Trail that highlights 24 areas of historical significance, each featuring a quilt pattern in colours that nod at the community’s rural roots.

The Pinwheel Parade quilt signals the beginning of the Ryde Barn Quilt Trail.

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The Saw Blade quilt marks the spot where the town mill likely stood in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The site is now a sawmill.

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The Maple Leaf quilt, where Godfrey and Elizabeth Speicher built their farm, circa 1900.

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John Rebman, a Ryde pioneer, settled the land where the Morningstar quilt is seen. His descendents, who collect Cockshutt antique tractors, live there now.

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Holy Manger Church, originally a Methodist church built in 1890, is now an Anglican church.

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This quilt pattern, called Crossroads, appears where pioneer John Farley settled in 1875.

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Barkway United Church, built in 1882, was originally a log church. Shiplap siding was added later. Merkley Road, Gravenhurst, site #13 on the Ryde Barn Quilt trail.

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Tree Everlasting sits on a bank barn likely built in the early 1920s.

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Ryde Centennial Free Methodist Church displays the Heavenly Stars quilt.

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The Bear’s Paw quilt appears on the side of the former Summerland Dance Hall, now known as the Summerland store.

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The Crown of Thorns quilt on Societa Unita, a Roman Catholic Mission.

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