The nearest city to our campsite was Silverton, which lies on the 45th Parallel (Vancouver, where we call home, is at the 49th).
The small city is named after the Silver Creek that runs through it. Human habitation of the area spreads back over 6000 years, and agriculture has been the main industry since the 19th century.
We ended up in Silverton to find a gas station, as the van was low on fuel. What brought us back the next day were the murals peppered throughout Silverton. I love me a good mural!
I’ve since learned that the Silverton Mural Society was modeled after mural successes of Chemainus, British Columbia. Like in Chemainus, the Silverton murals are a major draw for visitors each year. So let’s take a walk through Silverton to check out the murals we came across.. in no particular order ..
Silver Falls – City of the Falls
Silverton photographer June Drake apparently helped to perserve Silver Falls State Park , which includes more than 8,000 acres and 10 waterfalls. This is where we camped for 2 nights.
Silverton born astronaut Don Pettit spent 6 months aboard the International Space Station.
Largest Camera In The World
The Mammoth, the largest camera in the United States, was created almost a century and a quarter ago in Chicago. Officials of the Chicago and Alton Railroad Co. used it to take a single detailed portrait of their new luxury train. I have no idea what connection it has to Silverton, though, and couldn’t find anything about it online.
Here’s a shot of Silverton Flower Shop, that appears to still be in business today ..
World-renown political cartoonist Homer Davenport helped elect presidents and expose business corruption. He was born in 1867 near Silverton.
Old Oak Tree
The town was built around the old oak tree – a popular gathering spot on Main Street in the 1800’s. Newcomers cut down the 800-year-old tree to pave the street. The stump is on display behind the Silverton Country Museum.
This mural was dedicated to Vince Till to honor him for all the work he has done for the Silverton Mural Society. The mural honors Vince and all veterans for their service to their country.
Mikkelson Steam Up
A memorial to the early parades of threshing machines and other equipment of the time from 1954-1966.
Davenport’s Arabian Quest
Homer Davenport, who we learned about above, travelled to Arabia and returned with 27 pure desert-bred Arabian horses in 1906, the first in America.
June D. Drake
June D. Drake was a commercial photographer in Silverton from 1904-1960. He used his photographs to campaign, and successfully establish, Silver Falls State Park in 1931.
The Silverton Airport was the oldest licensed and operating airport in Oregon. The mural features aviation pioneer and mail delivery pilot Bessie Haladay.
The 20th Century
This mural tells the story of, you guessed it, the 20th century. Well known quotes and pictures tell the story of the 20th Century including – “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You”, “One Small Step For Man,” and “They can have any color they want as long as its black.”
Silverton Red Sox
The Silverton Red Sox, started in 1937 and ran until 1954, was a baseball team mostly made up of local men who worked at the local timber company. As a farm team for the Boston Red Sox, players earned an impressive $25 per game. Major league player Johnny Pesky played one summer in Silverton.
A memorial to those who served in all American wars, highlighting the terror attack on the World Trade Centre.
This grouping of murals is a replica of famed artist Norman Rockwell’s work in The Saturday Evening Post Magazine back in 1942. It is said to represent the core values of Silverton residents – Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear.
I hope you enjoyed this post. There were more murals that we missed, but it was an enjoyable way to see Silverton.