Chillicothe Street, 1940's
This mural reveals a view of Chillicothe Street looking northward from the U.S. Grant Bridge during the 1940's. The mural is a copy of a postcard of that time and shows many of the landmark hotels and businesses, some of which are still in existence. The three-dimensional effect of downtown Portsmouth gives you the feeling of being able to walk down Chillicothe Street during the 1940's. Looking northward from the U.S. Grant Bridge, you could purchase your ticket for the railroad, complete all your banking needs, and shop in many of the local businesses. Mural postcards, mugs, framed prints and additional souvieners [sic] can be purchased at several of the local businesses.
Steel Industry, 1870-1980
In 1889 Portsmouth's two main steel mills consolidated into one plant, The Burgess Steel and Iron Works, at the west end of Third St. This plant was destroyed by fire in 1898, and the owner Levi York built a new mill in New Boston. Steel-making and processing capacity grew under a succession of owners. With a major renovation by Detroit Steel Corporation in the 1950's, the mill became an important unit of the U.S. steel industry. All iron and steel operations were idled by 1980, and the shutdown was completed in 2002 with the closing of the coke plant. The left panel of the mural pictures the blast furnace; the center shows molten iron being poured into an open hearth furnace; and the right panel shows the final rolling process in the hot strip mill.
Clarence Holbrook Carter
Clarence Carter was an internationally acclaimed artist and native son of Portsmouth. He began his painting in this area. During the WPA era, he painted murals in the post office, which are still there. A replica of those murals can be seen in this mural. In the mid-1960's, his visual vocabulary underwent a major shift, exploring the relationship between life and death, matter and spirit. This is signified by the floating egg. Also floating in this mural is an image of the Southern Ohio Museum which exhibits an extensive selection of Clarence Carter's paintings. An ongoing exhibition of Carter's work can be seen at the Southern Ohio Museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is located at 825 Gallia Street.