Murals... Chillicothe's outdoor murals, mounted on buildings throughout the commercial district, tell a story around every corner of this historic downtown. Each one transports the viewer into a by-gone era and celebrates an important part of the
town's rich history and heritage. The larger-than-life, breath-taking murals include tell the visual story of trains, automobiles, a brick factory, a business college, a retailer, a bank, a fire brigade,
a dairy, and many streetscapes.
The Mural Tour may be conducted by tour guides or self-guided. Tours take place almost daily throughout the season, sometimes on foot, sometimes in cars or motor coaches.
Chillicothe's mural project came about as a joint effort among the city, the
Rotary Foundation, and Chillicothe
Development Corporation. The Rotary Foundation's
goal is that all murals have historical significance based on events in the Chillicothe
area. Their goal is supported by Main Street Chillicothe, which is funded through
CDC and the visitor's
murals include the ones located across from City Hall depicting scenes from the
old Chillicothe Business College. Another is painted on the south side of the El Toro Restaurant and reflects scenes from
Along with each
mural is a short narrative explaining the
mural and its connection to the community. The murals provide a pictorial record of our
history. A committee has been formed to address the role of murals in Chillicothe and
choose future projects. The committee consists of Main Street and Rotary Foundation
personnel, members of the Grand River Historical Society, and
other community members interested in the project.
Murals (March 2016) - Seven new mini-murals have been added to Chillicothe and appear where windows once were on the historic Strand Hotel
Apartments building at Washington and Clay streets. The artwork faces Washington Street and was created by Chillicothe muralist Kelly Poling.
The paintings cover old windows that were needing to be permanently secured, said Patty Lewis, apartment building
manager. "We initially intended to do a brick finish," she said.
"We wanted to do something that looked nice." Then, the decision was made that since Chillicothe is a city of murals, the openings should have murals painted on them.
Most of the paintings are inspired by Chillicothe’s history.
Mural - Chillicothe's newest mural created by local artist, Kelly Poling, was
completed on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Poling began the mural at the end of September. The
mural is located on the east side of the Strand Apartments bordering the
library parking lot. This mural includes typical library scenes, such as
shelving with Livingston County Library books on them (classic book
titles, children's favorites, and some about Livingston County history); as well
as a photograph of a girl reading at the library and a card catalog.
Photo / Brittany Tutt
Chillicothe's 19th historical mural which was completed by local artist Kelly Poling on May
21, 2015. This mural features Edge-Mar Dairy trucks (a local dairy in the 1940s and 1950s owned by Edgerton and Mary
Welch). The mural is located at 521 Locust Street on the side of the Hometown LTC Services
building and features two Edge-Mar Dairy trucks. Edgerton and Mary Welch served
Chillicothe for 11 years with their dairy until they sold it in 1956 to Beatrice Creamery Company.
This mural is the largest Poling has painted. The dimensions of the mural are 20 feet high by 114 feet long. Poling painted this mural based off of old photographs. The location Poling painted for the mural was based off a photograph from 1935 that was taken by someone standing in the middle of Washington Street next to the Strand Hotel looking north up Washington Street.
C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt
- June 3, 2015
A horse-drawn hose wagon dating back to the 1800s. A
fast-paced record-setting fire department horse team from the early 1900s. A chain-driven
fire truck from the 1920s. Visions of the past come alive through the painting of a fourth
mural on the west side of the emergency services building in Chillicothe. The community's
latest mural features three panels - all depicting the by-gone days of Chillicothe's fire
department. Kelly Poling, owner of Original Artworks by Kelly in Chillicothe, is the
artist for the project. The city, which owns the building, agreed to provide the money
that would be necessary to have the building repainted, while the Rotary Foundation and
CDC provided the funding necessary for having the mural painted. The city also provided
the bucket truck for Poling to use while painting the mural. The mural is 81 feet wide and
reaches 20 feet high in the center panel. The first panel features firefighters and two
horses as well as fire hoses and other firefighting equipment from the late 1800s. The
second panel includes the famous horse team of Dan and Joe, who were credited with holding
a world record in the length of time it took them from the moment an alarm sounded to the
moment they arrived at the fire. The third panel is a picture of Chillicothe's first fire
truck which was a chain-driven model dating back to around 1920.
Railroads Theme for Historic Murals... A
40x65' mural depicting the old Milwaukee Depot now adorns
the north wall of the office building at 708 Locust Street. Kelly
Poling of Original Artworks by Kelly, created the mural. Along with
the depot, the mural includes a horse-drawn trolley, a 1932 Ford, and
a steam train. The trolley was used to carry people from the depot's
station to the Chillicothe Business College.
Another mural - this one gracing the south wall of
the building which houses JD's Auto Repair at 724 Locust Street -
measures 14x50' and depicts old Burlington Northern No. 35. The logos
of the four main train companies which operated out of Chillicothe
years ago are also included in the artwork. The companies included
Milwaukee Road, Burlington Northern, Wabash, and Northwestern Railway.
The murals overlook the parking lot behind City Hall.
Chillicothe Business College Mural
Local artist Kelly Poling works on a mural on the north side of the building housing Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc., at 710 Washington Street
Wednesday, June 15, 2005. Once completed, the mural will depict the Chillicothe Business College campus.
To do the work, Poling is painting over a mural painted by another artist several years ago, which also depicted the college. Poling explained that the paint on the previous mural was faded, which is why the decision was made for another mural. When Poling is done, the wall will feature a 30-by-70-foot mural of the college campus as well as a 30-by-12-foot mural depicting the arch and bird fountain which was located in the college's park area. The project is being funded by Chillicothe Development Corporation, the Allen Moore family, and John Irvin, through the Mervyn W. Jenkins Foundation. This is the 10th mural in Chillicothe.
C-T Photo/Laura Schuler
For more details and photos on the Downtown Murals,
as well as a complete mural map, please visit Main
Chillicothe Business College Marker
Moore Monument employees placed a marker designating the site of Chillicothe Business College
Tuesday, August 30, 2005. This Chillicothe Business College historical marker, funded by the Rotary and Mervyn W. Jenkins foundations, will be dedicated at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, at the corner of Springhill and Monroe streets.
This is the site where the college was established in 1890 and operated until 1952. The dedication ceremony is a public event and graduates of CBC are particularly encouraged to attend and be recognized. Former president of the college, Allen Moore, plans to attend. Following the dedication, the Grand River Historical Society Museum will be open for viewing of CBC memorabilia. Parking is available at Lambert Glove Factory or at United Methodist Church. The monument is six feet wide, five feet tall and six inches thick.
C-T Photo/Laura Schuler