It was just before 5 p.m. on Labor Day, and Eileen Hinckle was hard at work on her mural in downtown Albany. I passed by on my bike and stopped to take a look.
What, I wondered, was this horseback rider in native American dress doing in the mural of the iconic Albany scenes the artist is painting on the outside of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce?
I asked her, and she explained: The image of the rider is based on a photo.
It’s a photo of historical interest, and a copy of it hangs inside the chamber building. As I understand it, it records a scene from Albany’s Fourth of July parade in 1914.
The rider’s costume looked to me like that of one of the native nations from the Great Plains, and the original version of this story said as much. But Hinckle corrected me.
“The clothing of the main person on horseback… was identified as most likely being from the Warm Springs tribe in eastern Oregon,” she wrote in an email. “Additionally, I believe that the person on the horse is a woman. So the term ‘horseman’ is also an error.”
There are others on horseback in the photograph. (By Tuesday night, two of them had been added to the mural, and it looked like one or two more would follow.)
Eileen Hinckle is an accomplished muralist whose works adorn walls big and small in this country and abroad. She is painting this one, across from the Albany carousel on Washington Street, on commission from the Chamber of Commerce.
On Monday she told me she had about two weeks of work before the mural is finished. Then it will be the central feature when the chamber celebrates its 120th anniversary on Oct. 17. (hh)
The story has been edited to correct errors in the original and to make other changes.