Travel back in time to the 1800’s in northern Missouri for this year’s Missouri Highway 36 Quilt Trail 2018 Passport program. This year’s theme is “Ol’ Trail Town,” with each of the 16 blocks along the trail capturing a bit of life throughout northern Missouri as it was 150 years (or more) ago. Our block for Missouri Star features a train station, which played an integral part in the early development of the town of Hamilton.
History of the Railroad in Hamilton
The railroad brought commerce, construction, dry goods and much more to our town, with the line completed on Valentine’s Day 1859, and the depot finished later that year. To learn about Hamilton’s railroad, we spoke with Dean Hales, a native Hamiltonian with a penchant for history, who remembers the railroad vividly from the 1940s on until the late 1980s when the line and the train station were removed.
Hales explains that three sets of railroad tracks once intersected Davis Street, just a few steps north of our Main Shop. Although almost all evidence of the railroad is gone, there are still a few reminders. The relocated Penney house sits atop the foundation of what was once the train depot, and the “Hamilton” sign across the elevated tract of land between Penney Park and the bank was put in place so that commuters could look out the window and know which town they were passing through.
Of course, one only has to look at the mural painted on the north side of our Main Shop to see the most visible reminder of the role the railroad played in shaping Hamilton.
Highway 36 Quilt Trail
Now that we know the significance of the railroad in Hamilton, let’s talk more about the Highway 36 Quilt Trail program. This is the program’s fifth year and the trail opens on April 3, with 16 shops in 15 towns along the Missouri section of Highway 36 participating in the program.
Our Highway 36 Quilt Trail Quilt is currently displayed in our Penney’s Quilt Shop, and this year, we are offering a fabric kit so you can create a block exactly like ours! As you travel down the quilt trail you will see that each quilt shop created their own
The trail journeys along Highway 36, with stops in towns throughout the corridor, which includes towns on the highway, and also those that are 36 miles to the north and south of the route. Historical towns like St. Joseph, Marceline, Hannibal, and a dozen others with quilt shops and iconic American stories to share are ready and waiting to welcome you on your journey down the Highway 36 Quilt Trail.
Participants can download a shop passport HERE (or pick one up in the first shop you visit), and visit all of the shops for a free block pattern. One must visit the shop in person to participate in the Quilt Trail. Read all about the program HERE. Once you complete the trail, you will have 16 blocks to create your “Ol’ Trail Town” quilt, and you can turn it into one of the participating shops to see if you win a prize! We can’t wait to see what you make!
If you are planning your trip to Missouri Star Quilt Co., be sure to check out Visit MSQC for travel and lodging information. We hope you enjoy traveling down Highway 36, and visiting all of the shops along the way!