PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Beautification Committee has announced that the Plymouth History Mural will have an official dedication ceremony Aug. 6.
Jerry Milne of the Plymouth Historical Society said that the ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Aug. 6 at the mural on the side of Lee’s Hardware at 171 Main St. During the event, the committee will thank all of the volunteers who painted it.
“We will also thank Thomaston Savings Bank for awarding the Beautification Committee the grant that paid for the supplies,” he said. “The designers of the mural, Gina Ritchie and Diane Boylan, will explain how they came up with the images and the history behind them. We will also provide hints to find the 10 keyholes hidden in the mural, a nod to the lock-making history of town.”
The mural painting began in June. The initiative, which was intended to raise awareness of the town’s 225th anniversary in 2020, was sponsored by members of the Plymouth Beautification Committee.
The owner of Lee’s Hardware, Jeff Peterson, said that the store will eventually be getting a brochure which people can pick up to learn about some of the history depicted in the mural. Milne educated the artists about different historical topics from the town’s history before they began the work.
People featured on the mural include clockmaker Eli Terry, with gears emanating from his head to represent his ideas for mass production, Silas Brooks, a famous local air balloonist from the mid-1800s who was featured in the P.T. Barnum circus and had almost 200 liftoffs around the country, and Dorence Atwater, a Plymouth soldier who fought in the Civil War and was taken to the prisoner of war camp at Andersonville, Ga.
“Thirteen-thousand soldiers died due to the conditions there,” said Milne. “After the war, Dorence Atwater went out of his way to make a list of the men who died. He teamed up with the social worker Clara Barton to contact the family members after the war. This was the first time that an effort had been made to find those missing in action and report it to their loved ones. He also helped to establish the national cemetery in Andersonville.”
Geographic features included in the mural include the Terryville Tunnel, the longest tunnel in Connecticut, and the town’s numerous waterfalls.
Also featured in the mural are the North Star and the Big Dipper constellation, which escaping slaves used to help navigate along the Underground Railroad. A local home was an important stop along the railroad.
Depicted also are horses and wagons using the old toll road on Main Street, the Lock Museum of America and Ives Trains model trains, which were popular in the late 1800s before the company was bought out by Lionel.
“Their slogan was, ‘Ives Toys Makes Happy Boys,’” said Milne.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.