A Glimpse Into the Past

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Scioto County
Danielle Szabo

As the snow lets up and everyone seems to be going absolutely stir crazy from cabin fever, Portsmouth, OH provides a great outing for those wanting to get out. Located in Scioto County, Portsmouth is home to the Floodwall Mural Project located between the Ohio River and downtown Portsmouth. Murals are 20 feet high and 2,000 feet long, taking you back in time about 200 years to visit the history of Scioto County and surrounding areas. Carl Acterman, a photographer native to the area, had thousands of images archived, providing the knowledge of Portsmouth’s rich history and the inspiration for the murals.

Internationally-known Louisiana mural artist Robert Dafford started the project in 1993 and completed the murals in 2003. Dafford would work in the warmer months from June to September, where he engaged with residents and felt he really became a member of the community. In the spring of 1993 at the beginning of his project, Dafford met a young art student, Herb Roe, who worked with him for the next ten years and continued to work on murals with him after Portsmouth.

After having made lasting personal relationships with people from the area, Dafford continues to return to Portsmouth every year and paints additional murals with each visit.

When walking the murals, those with questions about the scene or the history being depicted are encouraged to call Portsmouth Murals Inc. at (740) 621-8031.

As the weather gets nicer, take a day trip out to Portsmouth, OH and enjoy a walk along the Ohio river while viewing beautiful art and history.

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