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Revive a part of local history

The Downtown Mining History Mural as it looks today. (Jeannie Barton Northrup)

Park Hills strives to restore its beloved downtown mural

Jeannie Barton-Northrup,

Revive Downtown Park Hills, a local non-profit organization, is working with the Downtown Park Hills Association (DPHA) to restore the mural at West Main Street and Science Street’s intersection, known as Schramm’s Corner. The 50’ x 22’ mural depicts the history of mining in the Mineral Area.

Revive announced via its Facebook page that $6,000 is needed to restore the mural. The goal is to raise the money to start the project this fall. Holly Kearns is the artist tasked with bringing the mural back to its former glory.

Revive asks that monetary donations go to Hulsey Properties, Tammi Coleman at the City of Park Hills, or First State Community Bank in the Revive Downtown Park Hills account.

Make checks payable to Revive Downtown Park Hills. Revive says community members who cannot donate monetarily can help by spreading the word about the project and sharing their posts on Facebook.

This is not the first project in the local area for Kearns. Her work is on food trucks, at the St. Francois County Fairgrounds, and on buildings in downtown Park Hills — The Slaughterhouse and Rae Cole’s Coffee Shop.

Kearns has also applied her art to a swimming pool border. Via her Facebook page, Kearns expressed her gratitude to Revive for selecting her for the mural restoration project.

Bob Wade, president of The Flat River Missouri Community Betterment Committee, introduced the mural project to residents during a committee meeting on Feb. 20, 1992.

Mike Wallace (fifth from left) stands in front of another mural he painted with community members who contributed to the cost of the mining mural in 1992. Pictured from left: Keith Bishop, Jack Greene, Helen Cross, Pam Boyer, Mike Wallace, Anna Kleiner, Mark Jones, Trish Middendorf, Mary Lukachick, Larry E. Hughes.

Wade was impressed by the mural Mike Wallace painted on the rear wall of the library and felt a mural at Schramm’s Corner would be a unique beautification for the city. According to minutes from the meeting, committee members unanimously agreed to the project.

The next day, a letter was sent to Flat River citizens introducing the mural project. The letter states the committee worked hard for three years to improve the community in many ways, and an upcoming project was a large mural planned for the side of the Ribak Cleaners building.

Wallace named the mural the Downtown Mining History Mural and began bringing it to life on May 28, 1992. The total cost of the mural was $1,500. Donations from the community and a carwash fundraiser hosted by local Girl and Boy Scouts funded the project.

The Daily Journal covered the mural’s progress from its inception to Wallace signing his name to the finished piece on Aug. 14, 1992.

Weather and time have taken a toll on the painting. The colors are faded, paint is chipping. A piece of history is fading away. Revive and the DPHA are trying to save history. If you would like to be a part of restoring the mural, go to the Revive Facebook page for more information.

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