“A project like this brings the community together. Thank you for letting me be a part of this dedication.” – Sen. Scott Bennett

The old Interurban Railway Station was chosen to be the first of six murals painted in prominent places around town where they will have high visibility.

By noon on Saturday, July 2, the square in Georgetown was alive with people arriving for the dedication ceremony mural project depicting the former life in this village. People stood around in small groups visiting.

One of those waiting was Alvin Peelman, a 91 year old resident. Peelman said, “I’ve lived here in Georgetown since 1947. I don’t see well, but everybody has told me that the mural is really pretty. It’s encouraging. I like the idea that they are sprucing up the town.”

As part of the gathering crowd, Charlie Dukes, a WWII Veteran who was injured in the war and also spent time in a prisoner of war camp said, “I remember the building being there when I was a boy. In the summer time on Saturday nights they had band concerts in the upper level. The square would be full of people listening to the band and visiting with friends and neighbors. I think it’s fabulous that they are doing these murals, and for the Interurban Station to be the first mural. A very nice job!”
“I’m proud of him,” Larry Harper (the artist’s father) smiled. “He had a good job as night manager of a grocery store, but he wanted to be able to use his artistic talents, so he quit his job and started painting murals.”

“It shows, though, that he really likes what he’s doing.” His step-mother added.

At promptly 12:30 pm, Sandy Walden, Chairman of the Mural Committee, called for order and Rev. James Blue, from Olivet Nazarene Church, opened the ceremony with a prayer. Georgetown Girl Scout troop 2059 led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance. Gracie Dukes, long time resident of Georgetown, sang America the Beautiful and God Bless America.

Senator Scott Bennett talked on the history of the Interurban Railway. “Most of the industry in that era was coal mining. The miners needed a way to get back and forth to work, and most people didn’t have their own transportation, so the coal companies were instrumental in starting the interurban as means of commuting the coal miners between Danville, Belgium, Westville and Georgetown mines, and their homes here in Georgetown, then later the interurban was extended to Ridgefarm for the miners who lived there.” “The Interurban was active,” he told the group, “from 1901 to 1936.”

As history observes, life changes over time. The mines started shutting down when other sources of energy were introduced to the area and the coal wasn’t as much in demand. After the mines closed, there was little need for the Interurban, so it, too, stopped running. Later the track was paved over and the building removed.

Bennett concluded with, “A project like this brings the community together. Thank you for letting me be a part of this dedication.”

Read more here: http://www.the-independent-news.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/community-events/2016-07-13/2016-georgetown-dedication-mural.html