Thursday, January 14, 2010

An Oasis of Murals

When we first drove into Twentynine Palms a few days ago I noticed murals painted on some buildings. The next time we drove through town we saw more and then I knew it was not random.

Similar to the Walldogs Murals of Pontiac, Il where we stayed last summer--this town has quite a group of paintings (21 murals) on the sides of building that offer people like us a bit of local history.

We drove around yesterday and took pictures of some of them:

- Frank and Helen Bagley came to the area in 1927. The homesteaded on 160 acres and had a local grocery store that was the center of the town's activity.

- Dr. Luckie was a doctor in Pasadena who sent veterans of World War I to 29 Palms to cure them from the effects of mustard gas. He became one of the town's prominent citizens is known as the Father of Palm Springs.

- After he served in WWI, Bill Underhill moved to Twentynine Palms in 1928. He established a weekly newspaper (The Desert Trail). He married Prudence Mason of Pasadena in 1941.

- The 'Flying Constable' Jack Cones: He was Twentynine Palms most beloved lawman when he was constable here from 1932 until he died in 1962. He used his Piper Cub to fly over his jurisdiction area.

- I love this mural. It shows an artist dreaming of days gone by with a brand of the notorious McHaney gang who stole cattle and horse and kept them for a time in nearby Hidden Valley.

-In the 1940's, the town had a number of flash floods damaging downtown businesses. The water was so high, inner tubes and small boats enabled kids to take advantage of the weather. Flood control damage construction in the 1960's solved the problem.

-On March 21, 2003 the First Marine Division and troops from Twentynine Palms began "Operation Iraqi Freedom" by moving into the country from Kuwait.

- One of the more recent murals is a tribute of the nearby USMC base Marines who fought in the Iraq War in Fullejah.


- In January 2008, the Jerry Bucklin Community Park was dedicated for its former mayor and USMC Marine. The mural shows numerous birds, animals and plants that habitat the region.

- In the late 1800's prospectors came to the area and established gold camps. One method the miners used to separate gold from mercury was with a dirty sock, hence the name 'Dirty Sock Camps.'

- Gold mining continued into the 1900's with claims such men as Oran Booth and Bill Keys. They worked on the Wall Street Mill and the Paymaster Mines which are depicted on this mural.

- Desert Wildflowers was painted to show the many different blooms colors that populate the local area near Twentynine Palms.

-This mural depicts three stages of sunrise at Easter Sunrise Services from the 1930's to present day Twentynine Palms.

There were a few more murals that we missed but, the idea is a great one. The murals give the town a sense of community and civic pride. It is a very educational also and provides RV full-timers like us (and others) who visit the area with an idea of how this was founded and grew.

Pam and I have seen another town with murals that portray its heritage: Ponitiac IL. I invite you to take a look at the blog I put together on the Walldogs. What a great idea and something that we have enjoyed tremendously as we travel along in the Roadrunner.

There must be the same kind of approach elsewhere in the country--if you know of a place, please let me know. If we are nearby, we'd like to see more.

Thanks for joining us today. Hope your week is going well!

4 comments:

  1. Great looking murals, Randy. We missed those altogether when we were up there - don't know how. I do know a place where murals are a big deal - it's on Vancouver Island just a few miles from where we live - it's Chemainus, BC. I wrote a blog about it a while ago...

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  2. Great looking murals, Randy. We missed those altogether when we were up there - don't know how. I do know a place where murals are a big deal - it's on Vancouver Island just a few miles from where we live - it's Chemainus, BC. I wrote a blog about it a while ago...

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  3. I enjoyed this post! Always love looking at murals when we see them. They add so much to a town!

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  4. Smithers, B.C. Canada also has murals. We are getting more as time goes on - it is great to show artwork and amazingly less 'graffiti' show up.
    Our murals of course, show mountains, winter activities, mountain activities and history.

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