Floodwall murals give glimpse of past

Published 10:24 pm Saturday, July 18, 2009

Enjoying a summer day, a friend of mine and I went to the Ohio River to view the historical murals that have been painted on the floodwall.

Following the ‘37 flood, President Franklin D. Roosevelt directed that a floodwall be built to protect the cities and towns along the Ohio River. Completed in 1943, it measures 70.5 feet in Ironton.

As we crossed the N&W Railroad tracks, we came to the entrance to the floodwall. The first mural is dedicated to the famous Waterloo Wonders.

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The next one is dedicated to Vietnam soldiers. One has a painting of the Iron Bank that was on a street with a furniture store and Hutsinpillar & Sheri Store. John Campbell, the founder of Ironton, is followed by Steen Whitter.

The Seal of the State of Ohio is very attractive in the middle of the wall. It is followed by Eagles and Stripes.

There are other murals, too. The one of the DT&I “Ironton 118 Railroad, bought by Henry Ford, is followed by one of Nannie Kelly Wright, 1856-1946, the famous lady furnace owner.

Nannie owned Centre Furnace that was built in 1836 by William Carpenter, et al. It was later owned by W.D. Kelly and his sons. It was at Superior, Ohio. Nannie lived part of her adult life in the Marting Hotel.

Col. Lambert was a well-known pilot of World War I and II. You can find his story in the Lawrence County Historical Museum at Sixth and Adams streets.

The Tanks Stadium mural depicts two strong football players.

If we missed any murals, we apologize. We counted 14.

There is room for more murals.

After our trip to the river we took photographs of Tower House, which is for sale.

It was most recently owned by Robert Price, who died last year.

It was originally owned by the Norton Family. Mrs. Norton’s picture is hanging in the dining room at the museum.

While it is summer and the weather is nice, it is a good time to visit the murals on the floodwall and see Tower House on Fourth Street. Think of such visits as free entertainment.

A reminder: the ice cream social at the museum is 6 p.m. July 25. Country Knights will entertain us.

A thought: The world is full of willing people, some of them willing to work and the rest willing to let them work.

Naomi Deer, LCHS