As you travel through Blakely you will notice a series of murals depicting life long ago in an area fueled by rich cultural history, the prosperity of agriculture, and a time when life moved much slower. Visitors passing through the area may see four murals, however, a little known fact is that a fifth mural exists. The fifth mural, located inside of the Post Office in Blakely, is the oldest mural in Early County by over half a century.
The oldest mural in Early County can be found in the Blakely Post Office located at 2243 South Main Street. The mural was painted by Daniel Putnam Brinley of New Canaan, Connecticut and is located over the Postmaster's door. Mr. Brinley received the commission for the mural in 1937 after receiving an Honorable Mention in a Science of Fine Arts Competition.
This mural was a small part of the New Deal program established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The mural program paid artists to paint murals in local federal post offices and to consult with community leaders about their work. Over the years, the murals have been coined as "New Deal Art" with most of them being six to seven feet tall and around thirteen feet in length. For this mural, Mr. Brinley was likely paid around $700 which equates to slightly over $11,000 in today's economy.
The Coheelee Creek Bridge mural can be found on the side of Tom's Barber Shop across the street from the Post Office. The mural commission was given to Dothan, Alabama artist Wes Hardin and was completed in the spring of 2013, making it the newest mural in Blakely.
Located in the Hilton community, the Coheelee Creek Bridge was conceived in 1891 at the order of the Board of Commissioners, making it the southernmost covered bridge in the United States. Workers were paid daily rates of $.75 to $1.25 and the entire construction project cost $490.41, which equates to just over $12,500 in today's economy.
Over the years the bridge saw frequent usage until it fell into disrepair. The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and in 1984 renovations on the bridge were completed.
The Birdsong Peanuts warehouse mural can be found just off of Court Square between City Hall and the County Administration Building. Painted by Dothan, Alabama artist Wes Hardin, the mural depicts farmers working a field, which relays the importance of agriculture to Early County.
The Cornerstone Insurance Group mural can be found on the corner of Court Square and North Main Street. The mural, painted by Dothan, Alabama artist Wes Hardin, depicts a timeline of "Life on the Square" many years ago from soldiers raising a flag on Court Square to the liveliness of family outings at the local theater.
The mural on the south side of the museum was painted by Dothan, Alabama artist Wes Hardin and depicts a father giving his son a lesson as mounds are being constructed at what is now Kolomoki Mounds Historic Park. The museum is located on North Main Street next to Blakely Chicken.