A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Why this rider is in new Albany mural

Written September 4th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

An Indian on horseback seems to be about to collide with his creator, mural artist Eileen Hinckle, on Monday night.

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.

From the Bob Potts collection at the Albany Regional Museum, this is the photo on which the scene is based.


It’s hard for me to ride past the new mural without stopping and getting another shot.

11 responses to “Why this rider is in new Albany mural”

  1. MarK says:

    I am constantly amazed at the artistic talent so many other people have. I couldn’t make a paint by numbers look anywhere near what these artists achieve. We’re lucky to have those who share.

  2. Ray Kopczynski says:

    The lady does some amazing work!

  3. Cap B. says:

    Why did you think the Native American on horseback on the new mural was from The Great Plains?

  4. Craig says:

    Can you tell us more about the Picture? Where was it taken and who are the riders?

  5. Patricia Eich says:

    Than you for the update and info Hassso. I haven’t been by to look at the mural for a week or so. I have enjoyed watching it develop.

  6. Mark H. Avery says:

    Thank you Hasso H & Eileen H from making Albany weird !


  7. KJW says:

    Surprised that anyone would question the Native American included in the beautiful mural being painted on the Chamber of Commerce building. When we were new to Albany, 13 years or so ago, it was immediately apparent of the historical references to Native Americans by names chosen for streets, rivers, products and such that it opened a whole new world of reading references to us about the Willamette Valley. Thank you Eileen for your stunning and awesome work to beautify walls in our city!

    • Delfina Herrera Hoxie says:

      Thank you KJW. My question would be why not? Native American tribes were here long before Caucasians traveled to Oregon to homestead.

      • KJW says:

        Ditto Delfina, and thank you too – I couldn’t have said it better. The recent television series “1883” also included several references to the Native American inhabitants of the Willamette Valley interacting with American pioneers and European immigrants moving through the prairies to the North West. Sad that so much fighting went on when everyone was struggling to survive – much like today.

  8. Mike says:

    That’s looking great! Thanks for the updated photo Hasso. I can’t wait to go down and check it out more closely. It’s definitely an improvement over the old drab brick wall.

  9. Bill Kapaun says:

    Who is to say a 1914 Native American wouldn’t spice up their attire with some “store bought” goods?

    BTW, I had the the same 1st impression as Hasso, being that it was a Plains attire. I grew up in a state East of this one and saw similar (to me) attire. Unless you are knowledgeable of the subject, it’s an honest mistake, if it even is a mistake. Maybe some Plains tribes dressed similar enough that even an expert would be fooled.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal apartments ARA Benton County bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park CARA City of Albany climate change COVID-19 Cox Creek Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village Highway 20 homeless housing Interstate 5 Linn County marijuana Millersburg Monteith Riverpark North Albany ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Boulevard Pacific Power Portland & Western Queen Avenue Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Scott Lepman Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Waterfront Project Waverly Lake Willamette River

Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering