Shawano County puts up 334th barn quilt


Photo by Jim Leuenberger Shown with Shawano County’s 334th barn quilt are, from left, Mark Heck, PACE (Pulaski Area Community Education) and summer school director; Cyril and Jackie Krajewski, brother and sister-in-law of the last owner of the farm, Ted Krajewski; Jim Zajac, Ted’s nephew who worked on the farm while attending school in Pulaski; Bryan Sesko, Ted’s grandson; and Deb Schneider, PACE and sponsor of the quilt.

Deb Schneider has sponsored Shawano County’s 334th barn quilt that is now on display on a shed where a dairy farm used to be. It is at the corner of South St. Augustine and Crest Streets, on property where Pulaski High School now stands.

The idea for a barn quilt on the school’s property was part of last year’s summer school program. Schneider taught a class called “Mini Barn Quilts,” in which students studied the history of barn quilts, toured the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce to see where the Shawano County barn quilts are painted, and heard a presentation from Jim Leuenberger about the history of the Shawano County barn quilt project, which he started in 2010.

In the summer school class, each student designed and painted a mini quilt to take home and then gave input into the colors and design for their actual barn quilt. The colors they chose for the quilt are red, white and black, which are the school colors for Pulaski High School. A stylized “P” was added in the center. The quilt pattern is called Pulaski Star.

The farm where the quilt is located was purchased in the 1920s by Stanley Krajewski and family. He was a builder by trade and also operated a dairy and chicken farm. Stanley bought buildings that were to be demolished elsewhere in the state and moved them to be rebuilt on his farmstead. Only two of the original buildings still stand, a garage and half of a chicken coop.

The last people to live on the farm were Ted and Jessie (Bodzianowski) Krajewski and their daughter, Reyne. They had a dairy herd and cash-cropped the land for the local canning factory.

In the early 1990s, the Pulaski School District was looking for land on which to build a new high school. They bought the Krajewski farm from Ted and Jessie with a life estate (permission for the family to live in the home as long as they wanted). Ironically, many years earlier, the first meeting held in the Pulaski area to discuss building a new public school was held in the Latus family home.

The daughter of the Latus family, Mary, married Stanley Krajewski, and long after they died, in 1999, the new Pulaski High School opened its doors, setting just behind the Krajewski home.

Ted Krajewski lived in the home until his death in 2013. A year later, the school district removed the house and other outbuildings, keeping the two remaining sheds. Both sheds have been re-sided and have new metal roofs as well.

The quilt was painted by the Shawano County barn quilt project committee and was put on display by LeRoy and Keith Raddant of Raddant Electric in Shawano.