Ian’s High School art teacher, LeeAnn Wilhelmson, is pictured here with Ian as a young boy. She was a great influence and encouragement of his artistic skills seen here in this mural.
In the 1910 Ford Model T Touring car are three members of the Mural Committee. Driving is Nancy Wall, Chair of the Committee and the Model T belongs to her and her husband. Sitting next to her is Scott Brigante, who was Director of Visual Arts teacher in Mansfield High School. In the back seat is Ken Butler, Executive Director of Mansfield Music and Arts Society (MMAS).
Standing beside the car is Kevin McNatt of the Mansfield Historical Society and Co-Author of Images of America, Mansfield, an important source of history for the artist. Kevin is a veteran rider of his Penny Farthing high wheel bike.
Down on the road are 3 historical figures. Reverend Jacob Ide, in the black long jacket, (1823-1898) preached at the Congregation Church for 42 years. Rev. Ide served as state representative and state senator and was instrumental in the push to open a public library in Mansfield.
In front of Rev. Ide is Linnie Dryden. She was at the forefront of female bicycle riding. “Linnie Dryden, a Mansfield pioneer lady bicyclist, is riding her new Vulcan Light Roadster…very gracefully.” This is from a photograph by Jay Ralph Allen, a photographer for the Mansfield News, 1890. He’s pictured here behind Rev. Ide handing out flyers advertising the Fancy Dress Skating Carnival on the third floor of the Lovell Building. There is a poster for the party at the train station. Can you find it? And can you find the skaters at the party?
Behind these folks is part of the South Common. The Bessem Groceries and Provisions Store is on the left. It burned down in 1905, soon after it was built. The building that replaced it is the present town hall which previously was the High School.
Next to the town hall is Memorial Hall, built in 1900. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It was dedicated in honor of Mansfield’s Civil War Veterans. This Victorian Gothic building was also the home of the Mansfield Library until 1989. It is now the offices of the Mansfield School Department and connected to the town hall. When it was built the towns people were asked to donate the stones for the facade, seen here today.