No 50, Smolen family farm

About the quilts & farm

Smolen Barn


1876 State Route 46, Jefferson (north of the village about 4 miles)


Interstate 90 to the Route 11 exit. Head south on Route 46 toward Jefferson; farm will be on your right, with large pond in front of barn. Look for the barn quilt on the milk house at this farm. Across the street, on the gray barn behind Smolen Engineering, is the 8×8 Farmers Daughter barn quilt.


John Smolen and family


Smolen Barn

On barn: Farmer’s Daughter, 8X8

Smolen OSU

On milk house across the street: Ohio star with Ohio State colors, 4X4


Barn: Artistic Woodworking, Jeff and Rachel Scribben

Milkhouse: Julie Smolen Forach and Mark Forach, Molly Forach

The barn:

John and  Helen Smolen purchased the farm in 1965, at which time the barn was already standing. They were told it was built in 1920 and came from a Montgomery Wards catalog as a kit barn.

The barn is located behind Smolen Engineering, which is in the white house. One of the items stored in the barn is a potato harvester, which would have been pulled by a team of horses. The harvester is in the top photo.

The farm:

Across Route 46, on the west side of the road, is another barn and home that are part of the Smolen farm. John Smolen Jr., former county engineered, grew up in this house.

John has fond memories of his farming childhood and the hard work his parents, John and Helen,  put into the farms. The farms paid for John, his two brothers and his son, Andrew, to go to Ohio State University. The barn quilt on the milk house honors the farm and cows that ultimately paid the tuition. Two engineers, a professor and a veterinarian were reared on the farm!

This design was developed by John’s granddaughter, Molly Forach, who worked with her father, Mark, in painting the quilt.

Julie Forach, John’s daughter, is a quilter and plans to make cloth quilts of the barn quilts.

potato digger

Ashtabula County, Ohio, barn quilt trail with more than 100 quilts