County’s 327th barn quilt gifted to former mayor, husband

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Shawano County’s 327th barn quilt is on display at 1116 S. Water St. in Shawano.

Don and Lorna Marquardt are proud of the piece of Shawano history that is located next to their home at 1116 S. Water St. in Shawano. It is a structure that was built in the 1870s; its original purpose was a livery stable. Records show it was built by H.H. Gamble and was located somewhere behind the area where Dreier’s Pharmacy is located.

The former livery stable is now the home of Shawano County’s 327th barn quilt. The name that has been given to the quilt pattern is, appropriately, Livery Stable. It was painted by the Shawano County barn quilt committee.

The Marquardts are delighted with their new barn quilt, which was gifted to them from their city friends when Lorna retired from her 14-year tenure as mayor of the city of Shawano.

“We wanted to have a horse on the quilt to recognize the history of this grand old building,” Lorna remarked. “We are so grateful for the wonderful job Jim Leuenberger did creating a barn quilt that will add to the character of this piece of Shawano’s history.”

The Marquardts purchased their home and the former livery stable from Elmer Berg in the early 1970s. Elmer and his brother, Norris, had the building moved to its present location on Water Street, intending to convert it into a duplex. However, they found it was an ideal building in which to store the inventory for their roofing and plumbing business.

An excerpt from the Shawano County Journal, 1889 said, “Gambles’ livery barn has been given a fresh coat of paint this week and is much improved in appearance thereby.”

Lorna Marquardt smiled and remarked, “Buddy Prokash, a local painter, recently gave it a much-needed coat of paint. Attempting to keep it like it might have looked back then, we decided to keep it simple with no trim.”

Don Marquardt added, “They don’t make buildings like this anymore. The inside of the building is all original, other than that the stalls were removed. Large cedar posts hold up the second story, which was where the hay was kept. The original floor is made of thick planks, and the sliding door on the south side still has all its original hardware. It’s built so solidly, I am sure it will still be standing another 100 years from now.”

The Marquardt barn quilt was put on display by LeRoy and Keith Raddant of Raddant Electric in Shawano.