Putnam County Barn Quilt Trail

  • Students in Mrs. Riley's 2023/24 Drawing and Painting class worked with Putnam County Historian, Jennifer Cassidy, her office, the Southeast Museum and other area experts to research and design Barn Quilts based on historic and contemporary agricultural sites in Putnam County. Students chose from eight sites and worked collaboratively to compile research, draft a design, submit it to stakeholders and modify their designs based on the feedback provided. 

    The history of the American Barn Quilt can be traced back almost 300 years, a tradition older than Putnam County! Early homestead families created decorative yet distinctive quilt patterns to display on their barns not only as decoration, but as a way for travelers to find families or directions/crossroads. Typical barn quilt designs include patterns from folk art, geometric patterns of quilt squares, and may portray elements of anything from one’s heritage, the farm’s animals, and agriculture, to navigation and patriotism. (Resources: Barn Quilt Info, American Barn Quilts)


  • Tilly Foster Farm is a prominent landmark in the Town of Southeast and has existed since the 1870s. It is located in Putnam County. Originally, it was known as Theodore Kelly Farm.

    This historical landmark was originally a dairy farm, selling milk, cheeses, and other dairy products before it was turned into a place for horse breeding. It was founded by Theodore Kelly, who built the farm before ownership was handed off to the Bloomer family in 1901. In 1943, the farm was handed off to E.E. Benedict, who renamed it to Benedict Farm. He owned it and popularized it until his passing when the farm fell into disrepair because it was under use. In 2002, Putnam County purchased the farm and restored it, turning it into a beacon for tourism.

    Tilly Foster Farm is still the large and popular farm it once was. It became a beautiful site for tourism with its vast and vibrant green grass and pretty nature trails. Today, it is used for food production, where it is able to fill up local pantries effortlessly. They are also happy to teach you culinary arts education and numerous other activities on the farm are open to the public.

    Tilly Foster is a gorgeous historical landmark and a wonderful place to unwind and take in the nice landscapes.

    During the Revolutionary War, barn quilts were used to show American Forces that there was a safe area with supplies ahead. They also represent American folk art and preserve the country's quilting tradition. They celebrate rural areas and agricultural traditions while also promoting travel to these regions.

    After looking at pictures of other barn quilts, I was very interested in the dynamic shapes and triangles. People were creating designs akin to sunflowers and plants, choosing colors to match their ideas. Specifically, the sunflower inspired some ideas to use triangular shapes to create something that looks like a sun.

    Tilly Foster has been a beacon of agriculture for decades, and it deserves to be represented by warmth and light and what better design to represent those things than the sun? Looking at pictures of Tilly Foster, there happens to be a lot of bright green grass, white fences, and burgundy buildings. Nice bright yellows and oranges really bring together and compliment the greens and whites of the farm.

    This barn quilt represents the agricultural history of the Town of Southeast by bringing together vibrant colors that show the vibrant history of the town and Tilly Foster itself. With the shape of the sun and the yellows and oranges, it makes the Town of Southeast look healthy and mellow with all the green grass, healthy plants, and flowers around the whole area.

  • Tilly Foster Apiary is a prominent landmark in the Town of Southeast. It is a branch of the Tilly Foster Farm institute, which was established in 2006 by George Whipple.

    Originally, Tilly Foster Apiary was a dairy farm, and it was later used for horse breeding. However, in 2009 Putnam County entered into an agreement that made the farm a museum, and in 2014 the apiary became fully operational and open to the public. Tilly Foster focuses greatly on public education about farming and beekeeping. Today, they have a large garden where many different vegetables are grown and given to Putnam County’s senior centers. The public is also permitted to tour this garden using walking paths and learn about the foliage present. Bees pollinate the various different plants that grow in the gardens, which can be viewed in the warmer months of the year. Tilly Foster Apiary also works to educate the public about the complexities of their beekeeping practices. This plan furthers the advancement of our community, and it is approved by the CAA (Center for the Advancement of Agriculture), an organization that also promotes similar outreach efforts.

    The apiary has advanced drastically since it was used for horse breeding and dairy farming. Now, educational programs at Tilly Foster have been created to help further our community. The apiary has gardens that can be viewed by the public, as well as community outreach programs that teach people about farming and beekeeping. Tilly Foster also has an educational program that allows students from Brewster High School to attend two-hour daily sessions at the farm. We had the privilege of interviewing some of these students who feel that they learn important life skills at the farm that will benefit them in the future. There is a culinary program available that aids students in reading recipes and cooking independently. These classes are very hands-on, and they allow students to learn beneficial life skills and establish friendships based on a common interest. There is also an animal-based program that focuses on observing animals’ emotions. Upon arrival, students are asked questions such as, “How are you feeling?” They are taught that animals can sense their attitudes and will be affected by their moods. Students also commonly interact with ferrets and goats outdoors to learn about their behaviors. This allows them to recognize others’ emotions and build their social awareness skills. The program also provides opportunities for students to participate in community service. Many of them have an interest in animals, so they are making dog treats at Tilly Foster Farm and organizing a fundraiser to sell them in Yorktown. The proceeds will go to the Putnam Humane Society. This will allow them to better their own community and accomplish their goal of helping animals. This program designed by Tilly Foster provides a wide range of learning opportunities, allowing the students to explore topics that interest them. The students are excited and grateful to participate in Tilly Foster Farm’s community outreach efforts. 

    Tilly Foster Apiary is a staple in the Town of Southeast. Many people come to visit the landmark because the farm is  fully operational and its owners generously share the joys of farming, and beekeeping with the world. These opportunities educate tourists and give the community a greater appreciation of nature and the world we inhabit. 

    A barn quilt is a large piece of wood that is hung outside a farm in a visible position. The wood is painted to look like a quilt, and the design often reflects the values of the farm. These barn quilts were originally used to direct people to specific farms, but nowadays they create a network of quilt trails.

    Our design was inspired by the crossroads quilt, which dates back to the late 1920s and early 1930s. The design, according to Underground Railroad legends, was used to point enslaved people towards freedom. It symbolizes the many different paths a person can take throughout life to reach their goals. Our design combines this sentiment with the importance of bees. Without the presence of bees, plants wouldn’t be pollinated, and humans’ sources of nourishment would decrease drastically. Fortunately, bees are present almost everywhere around the world. Therefore, no matter what path you may take in life, bees will always be there to sustain the environment you’re living in. When designing our quilt, we wanted to emphasize the importance of bees. There are five bees present in our design, which represent the bees at the Tilly Foster Apiary. The borders of our design also contain honeycomb, which is a substance that bees create to store their honey, pollen, and offspring. We also included coneflowers, which grow in Putnam County and are pollinated by the bees at Tilly Foster Apiary.

    When selecting our colors, we mostly used yellow to paint the honeycomb and the bees. However, we drew pink flowers with green leaves to add color and add interest to our design. 

    Our quilt design represents the agricultural history of the Town of Southeast because it emphasizes the importance of bees throughout the county. The significance of bees is shown with their prominence in our design, as well as the use of the coneflower, an example of a plant that bees pollinate. Bees also pollinate many other crops throughout our town, which has maintained our agriculture for generations. 

  •      Pegasus Farm is a prominent landmark in the Town of Southeast and has existed since 2007. It is located at 310 Peach Lake Rd, Brewster, NY. This specific location has always been known as Pegasus Farm, but the original location of the therapeutic horse riding started at another farm, Ox Ridge Hunt, founded in 1914. The opening of Pegasus Farm was created from the start, to provide therapy uniquely, through therapeutic horse riding, which for many people they feel is an easier way to cope. On this farm, therapeutic horse riding is a way to help people with special needs. There are 3 different chapters in this chain of farms, and the first original farm to provide this form of therapy was Ox Ridge Hunt Club, founded in 1975 by a group of women, and then expanded to Kelsey Farm and Pegasus Farm. Pegasus Farms was always meant to be for horseback riding therapy, and this was apparent in 1974, when a group of three women banded together to discover therapeutic riding. Later, on their first session in 1975 at the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, in Darien, Connecticut. Not only this, but the farm expanded and opened up a farm in Brewster, New York. To their luck, in 2008 they finally received approval for the construction of their outdoor arena, which was called the Ann Pinkerton Riding Arena. Then, later, the Ann Pinkerton Riding Arena was used for the first time in 2009. They later created a home for these horses! This was created in 2017 when the Michele Arnold education center was opened. Researching the history of Pegasus Farm is important because this history is what makes up the community we live in, and has positive effects on the people who volunteer and need horse riding therapy. 

         Within the United States’ rich history is the American-born tradition of creating barn quilts. Barn quilts are typically large wooden squares that are painted with intricate and meaningful details, meant to mimic the patterning and layers of a fabric quilt. They originated in the U.S. as a way for farm owners to display their pride and the cultural history of their farms by hanging a colorful tapestry. Most barn quilts show the farm's history, which can be seen by incorporating symbols, colors, and patterns that relate to what they produce or why they were formed. Not only did this monumentalize the farms' colorful backgrounds, but it also benefited them by drawing the public's attention to the beautiful works of art. The design of our barn quilt features a mythical creature called a Pegasus, a winged horse that originated within Greek mythology. Not only is the Pegasus the symbol of Pegasus Farms, but it also represents speed, strength, and artistic inspiration. All of these adjectives relate to Pegasus’s history because the group of women who founded it exhibited the strength and determination to build a sanctuary for those who needed it from the ground up. It also must have taken an artistic mindset to be able to dream of a place where equine therapy could provide support for troubled individuals. Equine therapy is a way to help individuals express themselves and learn how to blossom into their best versions. The color scheme chosen matches the colors of the farm. This barn quilt represents the agricultural history of the town of Southeast as this farm is made up of horses, and integrating the Pegasus symbolizes both the name of the farm and the main focus of the farm, which is unique, as it differs from a normal farm, as this is a therapeutic farm and not a working farm model.

  • Salinger’s is a prominent landmark in the Town of Southeast and has existed since 1901. It is located in the Hudson Valley. Originally, it was known as Brookdale Farm. Today, Salinger's farm is owned by fourth generation owner Tim Salinger.  It was founded in 1901 by Edgar Salinger and was originally called Brookdale Farm.  Sigmend Salinger, Edgar's son, then changed it to Salinger's Farm.  He then passed it on to his son, Bruce Salinger, to which he passed it on to Tim Salinger.  Their main selling item was apples. This historical landmark is now a store and sells baked goods, pies, jellies, and apple cider, as well as apples.  All the baking is done by Tim’s wife, Maureen Salinger. To close, Salinger's farm is a fourth generation, hardworking, and very successful farm.

    A barn quilt is a block of wood that is painted to look like a quilt, and it is made to represent the culture or traditions of the land. We were inspired by designs we found online of real quilts, and we came up with the design because it was an apple farm, and we felt we should incorporate them. We chose the pattern of apples because Salinger’s orchard holds residence to many apple trees, and they incorporate apples into their baked goods and their famous apple cider. Our colors, orange, red, and green, represent the fall when the apples ripen and apple cider donuts are piping hot at the facility. The barn quilt represents the agricultural history of the Town of Southeast by applying the harvest goods of Southeast, such as apples, as a primary piece in our design. It represents the work gone into planting and picking the apple and creating it into delicious baked goods the people of Southeast will enjoy for generations to come.

  • The Elks Lodge, formerly known as Budd’s Farm, is a prominent landmark in the Town of Southeast and has existed since 1830 and was refounded in 2012 and renamed the Elks Lodge. It is located in Brewster, NY No. 2101, 1430 Route 22, Brewster, NY 10509-4332. Originally, it was known as The Budd Farm/Budd’s Tavern. Budds Farm doubled as a stop for farmers driving their beef cattle and stagecoaches, throughout NY, and also a tavern.  In 1830, Hiram Budd, a coach builder on Broome Street, moved to Southeast over fear of a cholera epidemic. He then purchased 80 acres from Alexander Young.  Since its origins, Budd farm has been turned into the Elks Lodge in 2012. The Elks Lodge now exists on the Budd Farm.  The Elks Lodge is a fraternal order that enforces the principles of charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity; recognizes a belief in God; promotes the welfare and enhances the happiness of its members; quickens the spirit of American patriotism; cultivates good fellowship; perpetuates itself as a fraternal organization, and provides for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.  ​​​We also noticed how much charity and things for the community that the Elks Club does.  We find it admirable, and it is important to research and become educated about historical sites as you can uncover new and interesting facts about where you live. It is a rewarding experience to learn about the origins of where you come from.

    A barn quilt is a wooden square painted to look like a quilt block.  The purpose of a barn quilt is to represent someone or something. They are hung on a barn or a house/ garage. We were inspired by Hiram Budd’s job as a coach builder, incorporating a coach wagon wheel.  The wagon wheel is just to appreciate the original owner of the farm and depict what he did to earn the money to buy the farm.  We also incorporated elk antlers because the elk has stately qualities that the Elks Lodge follows, such as charity, justice, brotherly love, and fidelity. We chose red, white, blue, and black because American patriotism is very important to the Elks Lodge. In closing, the barn quilt reflects the history of how Hiram Budd chose the Southeast when deciding where to move to.

  • Green Chimneys is a prominent landmark in the Town of Southeast and has existed since 1947. It is located in Brewster, NY.  

    This historical landmark was Original Green Chimneys, property purchased by the Ross family in 1947.  Samuel Ross led staff to provide education and animal interaction for children (1948). The kind of work that happens in Green Chimneys is that they use animals as part of their therapy methods to improve the lives of children. Before then, it had been a dairy farm with a herd of Jersey cows. No one here actually was alive back in that day, so much of the history is now just lore. We have been told that the chimneys were green before the Ross family bought the property and that people being directed to the Dell Howe farm would be told “it’s the farm with green chimneys.”  Since that early time, the chimneys have always been green. Some stories mention that Henry Breckinridge, who was an American lawyer and politician, ordered a minister to paint the chimneys. The minister found some leftover green paint and painted the chimneys.

    Before the Ross family purchased Green Chimneys, the owners were Bella and Mike Meyer.  Bella became widowed at a young age. Later, Bella became Sam's secretary for the rest of her working life. She died at 100 only a few years ago. A branch of the large Barnum family originally owned that farm for generations. Which is why a cemetery is located on the property dedicated to the Barnum family.  These were the relatives of the famous P. T. Barnum, known for being in the circus business. 

    The historic site features a roadside shop where you can buy fresh garden vegetables. Additionally, during the Christmas season, it offers Christmas trees for sale. The Green Chimneys campus implements a forward-thinking initiative that combines academic, behavioral, and emotional assistance within a holistic educational setting. They aim to empower each child to acquire new skills and build confidence, facilitating their return to their original school district with the highest likelihood of success.

  • Morningthorpe Manor is a prominent landmark in the Town of Southeast and has existed since 1686. It is located at 100 Turk Hill Rd Brewster, New York. Originally, it was known as the residence of Seth B. Howe. It is now known as the Delancey Street home, which is a rehab home. Morningthorpe Castle was the family home of Seth B Howe and where he ran his accounting business from. He was a prominent figure in the early American circus. Howe, housed many of the circus animals on his property and around Brewster. He also worked as the accountant for Barnum circus. The castle was his dream home, and he added many personal touches that told the story of his life. Seth B Howe died shortly after completing the castle. 

    In 1980, it was established as a Delancey Street Foundation Home: a self-help and rehabilitation organization that houses recovering addicts. Delancey Street offers opportunities for recovering addicts and ex-cons to pursue a GED, get jobs and get a second chance. Residents learn the culinary arts, moving and trucking, handcrafted terrariums, ceramics and woodworking, as well as construction, accounting, automotive repair, antique refinishing and Christmas sales and decorating. What still exists is the castle house, a barn, the carriage house, and his in-law's house that he built across the road. The larger property has been sold off in parcels. Delancey Street uses the main building to house residents and uses the barn for their workshops. Influenced art around town.

    The quilt design shows chess pieces which show Seth B Howe’s love for chess and the battle the residents have to overcome their addictions and reintegrate into society. The quilt also has the Delancey streets logo in order to honor the impact that Delancey Street has had on the town. We altered the knight to look like a unicorn to further tie it to Mr. Howe, as his family crest, has a unicorn on it. We also added corner bundles as they can be seen throughout the home in the intricate woodwork. 


  • Ryder Farm is a prominent landmark in the Town of Southeast and has existed since 1795. It is located at 406 STARR RIDGE Rd, Brewster, NY 10509. Originally, it was known as a space on Ryder Farm, which is a nonprofit residency program and an organic farm. Ryder Farm is one of the oldest family owned farms on the East Coast, being first established by Eleazered Ryder in 1795.

    The farm team is dedicated to using natural methods that replenish the soil, protect pollinators and yield healthy and nutrient-rich food. The farm is also for people who do writing in groups of art. Ryder farm changed as an early adopter of the burgeoning organic farming movement gaining momentum throughout the United States at the time. It used to be just a house for indigenous people in 1795. They also sell flowers and healthy foods.

    In the late 1970s, the Ryder farming tradition was reinvigorated by family member Hall Gibson, followed by Betsey and John Ryder.

    The events of Ryder Farm are open houses where people can get garden tours with cake cutting ceremonies and a petting zoo. Ryder Farm is an old farm that's still successful to this day, with a lot of fun events and has a lot of history to it.
    A barn quilt is a large piece of wood painted to look like a quilt block and hung on the exterior of a barn, house, garage or other building. It is a piece of painted wood that resembles a traditional quilt and is primarily used as decoration. Barn quilts are square-shaped with geometric designs, usually made of solid colors and composed of simple geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles. The inspiration for my own barn quilt is based on the sycamore tree that is on the property at Ryder Farm and also serves as part of the logo for Space. We used the green and white color from the logo but used a lighter green to brighten up the quilt. I choose these pattern colors because they are connected to the farm. This barn quilt depicts an important piece of the agricultural history of Southeast.