By Frankie Beers
Welcome! If you haven’t taken a trip to Rutledge lately you’re missing out. We have a new “front” door– the new mural at the train depot taking you back to a simpler life, when passenger trains were the norm in a small Southern town like Rutledge.
Members of the Rutledge Garden Club support the promotion of Rutledge and have funded the different murals around town.
Garden Club member Cindy Ferguson suggested to the club that a mural for the train depot was needed to welcome visitors to our quaint town. Garden club member and artist Molly Lesnikowski was asked to come up with an idea for the mural. After much thought, she decided to reflect the past with the present.
Molly decided the mural needed to be three-dimensional, something that would stand out. A diorama. Molly said she always liked playing with paper dolls as a child and decided the mural needed to be life-sized and represent actual events. Molly had great help from her husband, Ed Hogan, with cutting and installing the figures and mural and also from artist Shannon Wright with some of the painting.
The newest mural portrays a picture in time:
The eastbound train has just left the station. Back in those days, men who worked on passenger trains lived on the train, in the caboose. The caboose was their home, complete with kitchen, bunk beds, etc. The young boy chasing the train is Richard Hubbard with a biscuit in his hand. Richard recalls as a child that he and his friends would run after the train looking for a special treat as it was leaving the station and the railroad crew in the caboose would throw the kids homemade biscuits.
The dog is Spike, the unofficial town dog, who really belongs to Larry Medford. Spike makes his rounds around town just about every day, so the next time you visit here you’ll probably see him looking for a handout. However, he has never missed a meal.
The lady at the ticket office is purchasing a ticket for the next westbound train to Atlanta. We don’t know her story but if walls could talk, they might tell a very interesting tale.
The auto in the background depicts a 1930s Model A Coupe with the driver resembling Msgr. Peter Dora. Again, when you visit our town, you might be lucky enough to see Msgr. Dora in his 1930s Model A Sedan. He enjoys sharing his car with folks and giving rides to those interested.
The Station Master is on the platform checking the train’s departure and next arrival. Lastly, the train porter is moving luggage and what I believe to be an artist canvas alongside the luggage. I have a feeling the canvas represents Molly sending one of her canvas rugs to one of her out-of-town clients.
We’re proud of our town’s “front” door. There’s plenty to see and do. Come find out for yourself and experience our friendly town!