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The Iron River Mural

The finished mural

This is one of the Iron River Lions Club's most energetic projects to date. The idea of a mural had its inception in the fall of 2006. Then the search for muralists and a site for a mural began. Kelly Meredith and Sue Martinsen are the artists responsible for most of the murals in Ashland's Mural Walk. They were not only interested in developing a mural in Iron River, they were eager to start. After taking a "scenic tour" of Iron River and viewing potential mural sites, the possibilities were narrowed. Earl Carignan was in the process of residing Uncle Bob's Bowling Alley and Carignan's Saloon. He agreed to "host" the mural on the north side of his building--which meant leaving the wall wrapped in green construction wrap for the summer.

The muralists went to work, ordering materials and setting up a studio. The Lions' work wasn't finished either. The subject matter had to be selected. After hours of brainstorming and discussion, the answer appeared. The mural would depict the buildings that had originally stood in the space occupied by Uncle Bob's and Carignan's. Studio space was secured on the top floor of the unused high school in Butternut where Kelly lives. High school lads were recruited to carry the 60 signboard panels up two flights of stairs to the studio. (No elevator in the school.) And the work began.

The rest of the story is history--literally. The historic McCord Block and Vacha's Cafe again stand in Iron River. The pictures below are--more or less--in chronologic order. Enjoy...

The way it was







The Plan

The people












Before...







The artists's sketches...



In the artists' studio...



































Preparation...


The panels arrive...












and up they go...

















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