The small town of Toppenish, Wash. decided it needed a revitalization program and they landed on murals. Each mural in Toppenish depicts life in and surrounding the town from 1840 to 1940 and currently the town has over 80 murals.
– I’ll take this opportunity to welcome you to Toppenish, the City of Murals, where the West still lives. I’m Jim Duke and I’ll be your narrator today. And this is Dave Scheuffele and he’s gonna be the driver. And these horses are Frank and Jessie. So we’ll go out here and see if we can see a few of these murals.
– In the late 70’s early 80’s some business people wanted to kind of ramp up the Western theme and make Toppenish kinda in its original Western state.
– There was a little town in Canada called Chemainus and they had a small mural program up there. And some of the people from the chamber had gone up there and thought that was quite a deal. And we’s a little bit down in the dumps here. We had too many people in town so we needed something to brighten the town up a little bit. So, they said maybe we better start that mural program. So, they took a look at it up there, come back, and decided that’d be what we did.
– We’ve produced 80 murals, but due to some demolition and some disrepair we’ve got 78 active murals. Ultimately, every mural in Toppenish does have to fall under the criteria of 1840 to 1940 timeframe and the subject matter needs to pertain to the people of and surrounding Toppenish.