Barn Quilts & Historical Markers

Self-Guided DeKalb County Barn Quilt Trails

The Barn Quilt tradition has taken root here in DeKalb County!

DeKalb County’s 40+ Barn Quilts showcase a wide variety of design inspirations from the traditional to the unique. Local Barn Quilt painter Jean Klock (pictured below) created 10 of the 40+ Quilts in DeKalb County. Learn more about Jean’s history with barn quilts and the story behind some of DeKalb County’s Quilts in this DeKalb County Farm Bureau CONNECTIONS Magazine article.

Jean Klock

DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau worked with DeKalb County Farm Bureau to curate this list of barn quilts. We appreciate all the hard work that was put into this adventure, and thank you to DAAHA for their help and Bob Myers of HAWK Aerial Imagery for the photos!

Want even more “fun on the farm”? The DeKalb County Barn Tour will get you moo-ving across the county and exploring what’s inside the barn.

What is a Barn Quilt?

A Barn Quilt is a single, uniquely designed quilt block typically painted on a detachable canvas and displayed on the side of a barn or other structure. The design can highlight anything from the owner’s family history or hobbies to patriotism, local or family quilt designs, or even a family pet!

The Barn Quilt movement started with a star quilt fashioned in 2001 by Donna Sue Groves in Ohio. Donna worked with the Ohio Arts Council to create a “sampler” of quilts locally to honor her mother. This project lead to the formation of the first Barn Quilt Trail and a movement that has now spread across the country and DeKalb County. Learn more about Donna Sue’s Story in this 2008 interview with Quilt Alliance.

Learn about the inspiration behind some of DeKalb County Quilts by reading this 2018 article by the DeKalb County Farm Bureau.

Dog- Northern Trail
Sharlyn Larson and her Farmer’s Daughter Barn Quilt – Southern Trail

DeKalb County Self-Guided Barn Quilt Tour Map!

DeKalb County is home to over 40 quilts across the county. The DeKalb County Barn Trail is broken down into five (5) legs, allowing visitors to explore the self-guided tour in whatever way fits their schedule.

Jump into the trails or create your own to seek out the Barn Quilts that interest you. This Self-Guided Tour is unique one you will surely not forget!

Click HERE to view the map full screen and to see the map trail routes

Click HERE for a downloadable guide of all the DeKalb County Barn Quilts

Click HERE to download the turn-by-turn directions for the 5 legs of the Self-Guided DeKalb County Barn Quilt Tour and directions so you can link trails together.

The 5 Legs of the DeKalb County Barn Quilt Trail

Northern Trail

A. Denny & Debbie Rehn, 1602 McNeal Rd., Kirkland
B. Bill & Judy Gontika, 34661 Wheeler Rd., Kirkland
C. John & Sharon Schreier, 34238 Wheeler Rd., Kirkland
D. Barry & Kris Aves, 33855 Irene Rd., Kirkland
E. Mike & Lyn Exner, 33255 Irene Rd., Kirkland
F. Zeb Harris, 1269 Quarry Rd., Kirkland
G. Marlin & Ann Anderson, 3379 Twombly Rd., Malta
H. Thelma Klock, 3246 Quarry Rd., Kirkland
I. Jean Klock, 5335 Decker Rd., Kirkland

North Central Trail

A. Scott & Karen Keneway, 7514 State Rt. 72, Kingston
B. Jamie Patterson, 6327 State Rt. 72, Kirkland
C. Golf Center (Robert & Elizabeth Fleury), 31535 Ault Rd., Kirkland
D. Maple Hill Farm (Steve Yates), 30911 Ault Rd., Kirkland
E. Joseph & Michelle Buntrock, 30683 Lanan Rd., Kingston
F. Averil Schreiber, 29500 Glidden Rd., Kingston
G. Mike & Bev Keef ,28023 Glidden Rd., Clare
I. Bob & Norma Wildenradt, 27297 Five Pts. Rd., Sycamore

Central Trail

A. Brian & Vicki Wascher, 3573 Old State Rd., Kirkland
B. Rich Reynolds, 1251 Old State Rd., Esmond
C. Ron & Nancy Heal, 25456 Esmond Rd., Malta
D. John & Carol McQuillan (Basketcases), 26271 Malta Rd., Clare
E. Ron & Judy Stark, 22879 Malta Rd., Malta
F. Gene & Mary Jean Lane, 2044 Quarry Rd., Kirkland
G. Thomas & Nancy Mangan, 24765 Clare Rd., Clare

Eastern Trail

A. Ed & Kristen Engel, 32034 New Lebanon Rd., Hampshire
B. Frank & Carol Engel, 31889 New Lebanon Rd., Hampshire
C. Bill & Kathy Lenschow, 28917 E. County Line Rd., Sycamore
D. Gary & Jan Clausen, 15825 Lindgren Rd., Sycamore
E. Dave & Carol Keneway, 9122 Old State Rd., Sycamore
F. Doug & Cathy Hartmann, 21105 Hartmann Rd, Maple Park
G. Gerry & Nancy Hartmann, 15756 Pleasant St., Maple Park

Southern Trail

A. Larson Farm, 9725 University Rd., Shabbona
B. Jeff & Sharlyn Larson, 11559 Shabbona Rd., Shabbona
C. Joe & Phyllis Barshinger, 2435 Lee Rd., Shabbona
D. Carl & Joyce Kuhn, 10665 Challand Rd., Shabbona
E. Randy & Kay Thorsen, 12495 Waterman Rd., Waterman
F. Jeff & Meredith Bend, 10444 Crego Rd., Waterman
G. John Lamesch, 10945 Bastian Rd., Waterman
H. Mark Tuttle, 12725 Pine Rd., Somonauk
I. Janice Clemens, 14113 Suydam Rd., Somonauk
J. Wayne & Debra Davey, 5919 Suydam Rd., Leland
K. Brian & Kenlyn Bialas, 6183 Shabbona Grove Rd., Earlville
L. Harold & Judy Svendsen, 1760 Whitman Rd., Earlville

Photo Credits: Bob Myers & the DeKalb County Farm Bureau

Have a Barn Quilt that is not on the list? Contact DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Historical Markers of DeKalb County Tours

The DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association (DAAHA) presents three self-guided driving tours of the 29 historical markers within the county that mark significant events. These tours focus on historical markers that commemorate an event or person of significant historical interest, differing from the National Register of Historic Places that recognizes significant buildings.

The historical markers have been divided into three tours based on the geographic location of the markers.

Tour 1 – North DeKalb County

Fairdale Tornado
Pacific House Hotel
Almon Parke House
Underground Railroad, Mayfield Wesleyan Methodist Church
North Grove School
Carlos Lattin Memorial
Underground Railroad, Deacon David West home
Seedling Mile

Tour 2 – DeKalb & Sycamore Tour

Carlos Lattin first log cabin
William Marsh – Marsh Harvester
First Court Session
DEKALB Poultry Research Farm
DEKALB Swine Breeders
DEKALB Agricultural Association
DeKalb County Farm Bureau
DEKALB Winged Ear Logo
Jacob Haish
Chicago and North Western Depot, original site
William G. Eckhardt
NIU East Campus Lagoon
Joseph Glidden
DEKALB Hybrid Corn Breeding Plot

Tour 3 – South DeKalb County

John Beveridge, boyhood farm of future governor
Somonauk United Presbyterian Church
Underground Railroad, Somonauk United Presbyterian Church
Old Charley, The Heroic War Horse
Chief Shabbona
Henry M. Rose home
First Permanent Settlement; John Sebree Home
Afton Forest Preserve

DAAHA has created and published a tour booklet in order to share more information about the wonderful people and events that have been recognized with a historical marker in DeKalb County.

The tour booklet is provided free of charge and is available in paperback at the DAAHA gallery, 111 South Second St. Ste, 204, DeKalb, IL 60115, or go to for more information.