Artist Twila Fisher begins work on the latest downtown mural project. On the side of the historic Boswell building on South Chestnut Street, she is painting the 1905 Barnesville High School building. This is the fourth black and white downtown mural. The building, located at the corner of West Church and Broadway streets, was the first erected exclusively for high school students and served the public from 1905 until 1970. The $43,00 building was dedicated in September of 1906. After students were transferred to the new high school on Shamrock Drive in 1970, the building was partially used for elementary and junior high students.
The first mural was done of the historic Barnesville Depot, train and tunnel, located off Mulberry St. This picture was painted from a photo taken in 1917. The B & O passenger deport was the front door of the community with distant travelers passing through. Located on the Pittsburg to Columbus main line, there were no less than a dozen freight and passenger trains passing through Barnesville seven days a week at that time. Rail service ended in 1961 with freight service ending in 1976.
The second mural is of the United Dairy Company, of Barnesville, formerly located at the corner of Watt Ave. and Mulberry St. It was established in 1903 by Charles Holloway. They produced and distributed bottled pasteurized milk and ice. The company eventually expanded to seven other cities in Ohio and West Virginia. Citing declining sales of evaporated milk, the dairy, employing 33, closed in 1981. The factory building was removed in 1998 followed by the demolition of its signature smokestack on Nov. 27, 2001.
The Belmont County Children's Home, the subject of the third mural, was located east of Barnesville at Tacoma. The Belmont County Children's Home was opened in 1880 and closed in 1981. During the first year of operation, 126 children received care. The complex included a farm, with a two-room school added during World War I. The $40,000 facility was designed by J.A. Yost, a Bellaire native and a Columbus architect. The county razed the abandoned building in March 1990.
Murals one and two are located on the back of the village building/water department, facing the parking lot at 126 E. Church St. and the third mural is located on the west side of the Domino's Pizza building, 146 W. Man St.
The murals were commissioned by Barnesville Village Council and funded from a $1,200 grant from the Belmont County Board of Tourism and a matching sum from the village.