The fifth barn quilt in Lincoln County was hung in early September on the Heidemann farm located at N1243 Range Line Rd. east of Merrill. The farm was recognized as a Century Farm in 2010. The Heidemann family joins the Buck family whose farm is located east of Merrill on Hwy. 64, the Koehler family whose farm is located west of Merrill on Hwy. 64 and 107, the Pope-Will family whose farm is located on Pope Road just north of Merrill and the Hanson family whose farm is on Hwy. 17 north of Gleason, in being part of the Lincoln County Barn Quilt Project.
The farm where the quilt is hung has been in operation since 1906 when the current house and barn were built. Since then, several other buildings were built to accommodate changing technology and the need for more space. The home and buildings are currently owned by Dirk and Jessica Heidemann. Dirk’s parents, Scott and Laurie Heidemann, own the remainder of the original farmland. The farm was originally a dairy farm with cows milked in the barn from 1906 to 1993.
Scott and Laurie purchased the dairy herd in 1988 and expanded the herd in 1993. The barn was converted to a facility to care for heifers, and cows were moved to another farm with a larger milking facility. The dairy herd was sold in 2004 and the conversion to raising beef on the farm began. Scott and Dirk continue to operate their beef farm sharing in the duties of crop work and caring for the animals.
Working with Natalie Watland, an artist from the Tomahawk area, the family designed a quilt pattern incorporating a beef cow and calf. The hanging of the quilt was done by RTL Electric of Merrill. The Heidemann farm has been the home and livelihood of six generations starting with August and Fredericke, Fred and Ella, Victor and Marjorie, Scott, Dirk and Jessica, and now Tavin and Brynlee. The Heidemann family takes great pride in their farm and are grateful to prior generations who preserved the rich history of their beautiful farm for over 100 years.
Through the cooperation of the University of Wisconsin-Extension Lincoln County, the Merrill Historical Society, Lincoln County Farm Bureau and with startup funding from the Merrill Area Community Foundation, the Lincoln County Barn Quilt project was initiated in 2013. Although any barn in the county may be eligible for participation in the project, the committee felt it was appropriate to begin with farms that have been honored as Century Farms by the Merrill Historical Society. Through this project, people will be able to view the county’s historic agricultural icons in their new role as public art.
The Barn Quilt Committee is currently looking for additional farm families, both Century Farm families and others who are interested in being a part of the project. For more information about the Lincoln County Barn Quilt project, visit http://lincoln.uwex.edu/p/lincoln-county-barn-quilt-project/ or contact Debbie Moellendorf at the Lincoln County UW-Extension office at 715-539-0177 or Bea Lebal or Pat Burg at the Merrill Historical Society at 715-536-5652.