More than 3,000 men and boys left Scioto County to fight for the Union in the Civil War. One unit, First Ohio Light Artillery, Battery L, represents all of these soldiers as they hold their position on the North Slope of Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. The border of the mural shows Portsmouth scenes at the time of the [C]ivil [W]ar. The industries of the area supporting the war are shown on the left border and on the right, the consequences of the war - the First Memorial Day on May 30, 1862 at Greenlawn Cemetery. Greenlawn's Soldiers Circle and the Chapel were both established in 1884. The Chapel, located at 1616 Offnere Street, Portsmouth has been placed on the National Historic Registry and is open to the public on Memorial Day weekend.
Early Police and Fire Departments
The need for law enforcement became apparent shortly after the early pioneers arrived. The first sheriff was appointed in 1803 and subsequently, the first jail was built on the corner of Front and Market Streets. The first volunteer fire department was formed in 1820. To be a member firemen were required to purchase their own leather buckets before they were accepted as members of the department. Note the "billy clubs," carried by the police, and the fire wagon pulled by horses.
Sixteen churches shown in this mural, whose congregations were established in the city between 1817 and 1876, still exist today. Each church is featured as an icon in a stained glass motif showing the name and year it was actually established. The center stained glass panel releases sun rays that radiate into each church. All of the diagonal "lead" pieces in each panel also point back to the center. Every year, during the month of December, a festival called "Dickens of a Christmas" is held in Portsmouth. The opportunity to tour five of the churches is made available to the public.
Farming was vital to the development of the Ohio valley during the early 1800's. This mural shows a picture of harvest time in a wheat field. Although wheat was the primary crop of that time, corn and various breeds of livestock are also represented. Corn dolls were quite popular during the 1800's and were later seen at the "Korn Karnivals" in Portsmouth during the late 1800's and early 1900's.