Portsmouth Railroads, 1950's
From the late 1800's through most of the 20th century, the Portsmouth area was served by the N&W (Norfolk & Western), the B&O (Baltimore and Ohio), and the C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio). The N&W's vast train assembly yard is the main focus of the mural. The yard's roundhouse is depicted in the top left corner, and a shop scene in the bottom center illustrates the hot expansion of a steel train wheel. Other items of note are the N&W's last steam-driven locomotive named the "Powhatan Arrow" at bottom left, a 1200 series freight locomotive at the bottom right, and the B&O's turnaround in Boneyfiddle in the inset at top center.
[The "Powhatan Arrow" was actually the name of a N&W passenger train which was pulled by the streamlined 4-8-4 J-Class steam locomotives]
The C&O's Sciotoville bridge shown at the top right, was built in 1917. With a double span of 1,550 feet it was, for many years, the longest continuous truss bridge in the world. It remains today the strongest bridge ever built.
This mural depicts the major industries in the Portsmouth area today. Located in the left third of the mural are pictures featuring gray iron castings produced by OSCO Industries Inc. The middle third is an aerial view of the uranium enrichment plant located near Piketon, Ohio. The right third shows scenes inside Mitchellace Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of shoelaces. In both the shoelace manufacturing and the gray iron casting portions of the mural there are reverse telescopic views of these industries as they were in the past.
This mural demonstrates the progression of medical practice in the Portsmouth area. The center left panel shows Dr. Thomas Waller, the first physician in Portsmouth, attending a patient in the home, and the right panel depicts a present-day operating room. The border is a reflection of various local hospitals down through the years, ending with Southern Ohio Medical Center, a state-of-the-art medical facility (bottom right). SOMC opened in 1968 and continues to expand its services. It is the largest facility of its kind in the south-central Ohio area. Also note the graduating classes of nursing students from several of the hospitals, including one class from Shawnee State University.
Twentieth Century Wars
The theme of this mural demonstrates that the United States has fought for freedom worldwide in the five major wars which began during the twentieth century. The figures and emblems in the mural represent these wars and the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Shown in the upper border is the MIA/KIA monument in Tracy Park. Thousands of men and women from southern Ohio either enlisted or were drafted into the armed forces during this period of history. This mural honors all of those who have served our country.