A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Mural nearly done, recalls a ‘Fourth’ tradition

Written September 12th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

You have to step pretty far back to get this entire mural in one photo, as I did on a bike ride Monday.

You might think the new mural on the side of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce looks as though it is complete, as I did Monday. But not quite, the artist says.

“The mural isn’t quite done yet, there are still a few more details to add and the top coat to apply,” Eileen Hinckle told me by email on Tuesday. “I hope to be done within a week from now.”

As you know by now, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce commissioned the work and will celebrate it on the occasion of the organization’s 120th anniversary on Oct. 18.

The west wall of the chamber building, which the mural now covers, measures roughly 100 feet wide by 25 feet high, according to my estimate. So that’s a 2,500-square-foot work of art.

The work captures five distinct Albany scenes. One of them is of historical interest because it reproduces a scene from more than a century ago.

The original photo is in the Bob Potts Collection at the Albany Regional Museum and shows seven riders on horseback. On the back of the print, there’s a typed caption that indicates we’re looking west on First Avenue toward Washington Street.

The St. Charles Hotel is on the left, behind the riders. The former hotel site is where the Albany Carousel is now.

Someone penciled a note on the back of the print. It says the photo was taken on the Fourth of July in 1914, and what now is the Chamber office was the M. Senders & Co. feed store then.

Erica Broad of the museum staff gave me the information from the back of the print. Unfortunately there is no clue in the collection on who took the photo or who the riders were.

Since the demise of the Timber Carnival a generation ago, Albany has not had a Fourth of July parade. Now, people can at look at the mural and at least imagine a tradition that should be revived. (hh)

This scene captures one day in Albany’s history more than a century ago.

6 responses to “Mural nearly done, recalls a ‘Fourth’ tradition”

  1. Connie says:

    I stopped by on Saturday while she was busily working away. I quietly watched her for a few minutes then moved on, not disturbing her. It really looked wonderful!

    I came for the farmers market but got a big bonus with a huge vintage car show and antiques sales on the sidewalks. I had no idea these events were going on. It turned out to be a very fine Saturday and I came home with some corn, herbal tea and delicious zucchini bread.

  2. Patricia E says:

    Thank you for the update Hasso. I think the artist did a wonderful job. I really like these large murals and hope others enjoy it.

  3. Mike says:

    Very cool. That’s a great addition to downtown Albany.

  4. Bill Kapaun says:

    I’ve really enjoyed following this, always waiting for the next update. I was by with friends a couple times and also had a few very quick glances as the bus was making a L turn toward the post office.

  5. K R says:

    So lovely!

  6. Lundy says:

    Hasso, next time you talk to Eileen, please tell her that “Pam’s dad” says hello and thinks her work is fantastic.

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