Renovating the past

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sam Heighton (Mark Shaffer | The Ironton Tribune)

Ironton aLive to have floodwall murals repainted

Ironton aLive is going to do their part to help revitalize the floodwall by restoring the murals of the Waterloo Wonders and the Col. William Lambert.

And they will be helping with putting murals on containers at the Friends of Ironton Water Park.

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“The Waterloo Wonders mural is in really bad shape,” said Sam Heighton, the executive director of Ironton aLive, adding Dr. Burton Payne, who attended Waterloo High School, agreed to help with the renovation of it. “Between him, myself and the county commissioners donating $3,000 and two other donors, we’ve come up with the money to renovate it. So, we have a total of $5,000.”

The mural, which honors the Lawrence County basketball team which won back-to-back Ohio Class B Championships in 1934 and 1935, was originally done in 2003. Over the past two decades, the paint has faded and chipped and left the basketballers’ faces nearly impossible to see.

Heighton is working with the Ohio Arts Council to get a $5,000 grant as well.

“With that, we can do more than just the Waterloo Wonders mural,” Heighton said. “I’ve talked with the William C. Lambert museum people and we are going to try and get the colonel’s mural done as well.”

Heighton said that other organization have helped renovate some of the floodwall murals. In 2021, Third and Center, which has done a number of murals around Ironton, spent the better part of a week repainting the Welcome to Ironton mural.

Ironton aLive hopes to start the mural renovations either this spring or early summer.

“The artist, Elias Reynolds, will also do murals on three containers by the splash park,” Heighton said. “It will be scenic views and Ironton aLive is paying for that.”

They have a $1,000 grant towards the project and the group will pick up the rest of the cost.

Heighton said that the floodwall murals are one of Ironton’s hidden treasures.

“A lot of people don’t go back there,” he said. “I think all murals being renovated will a sight to behold.”

The mission of Ironton aLive is to bring tourism into the town and Heighton thinks the renovated murals could help with things like economic development.

“It will bring people in and it opens up more opportunities to have events on the riverfront,” he said. “It is a great area and it is underused. This is just one of the things to be done to get it going again.”

Ironton aLive is seeking funds to continue the renovations of the floodwall murals. To make a donation, contact Heighton at 740-533-7951.