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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Southern Middle Tennessee RC&D Quilt Trail

More than a means of celebrating our heritage.

The Southern Middle Tennessee Resource Conservation and Development Quilt Trail is a driving route throughout nine counties in southern middle Tennessee.

It is designed to draw visitors to the region and promote sustainable economic development in rural areas. The trail is designated by an 8’X8’ quilt block mural hung on barns, agri-tourism and other sites of historical and economic significance. Each route is carefully chosen for its potential to draw visitor traffic to the abundance of local businesses, artisan shops, historic sites, educational opportunities and recreational activities this region has to offer.

As the need for sustainable economic development in rural areas becomes more apparent, the Quilt Trail provides opportunities for community growth by promoting agri-tourism, creating community involvement and engaging residents in impacting their communities and protecting the heritage, cultural and natural resources of the region. Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury and Moore are the nine counties of Southern Middle Tennessee RC&D.

The quilt block dedicated today is mounted on the Big Red Store in Appleton. The block is painted from a quilt found in the store from its original stock. Loretto High School art department painted the block and the Ag department built the mounting frame.

The store was established in the early 1800’s. In its day, the Big Red Store was a booming business surrounded by a cotton gin, gristmill, black smith shop, hickory mill, post office and a school. The store carried a stock of $30,000, which included everything that could be found in a first class dry goods, grocery, hardware, and drug store. It had a magnificent marble top soda fountain to add to its glory. A warehouse was erected in 1892 to house the hearse, coffins, horse gear and farm equipment. The store closed its doors in the late 1950’s.

Alvin& Jackie Fick and Bob & Linda Boyd purchased the store in 2006 with plans to restore the original building and stock.

The site was also where one of the last battles of the Civil War was fought.