Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Historic Murals of Exeter

The Historic Murals of Exeter
I am addicted to historic murals.  I can't help it.  They always draw me in for a closer look.  Sometimes I even learn something from them.

Murals often depict historical figures and significant events for a particular community.  Murals usually feature a historic marker or plaque and they usually have an interesting story.

Such was the case recently when I stumbled across the small central valley town of Exeter, California.  

Exeter sits at the base of the Sierra-Nevada mountains about a half hour southwest of Sequoia National Park.  It lies amidst some of California's best agricultural soil and is flanked by giant groves of citrus and olives in every direction.  On with the show...

The mural below is called Golden Harvest.   
Back when people were subsistence farmers, these fields were planted from one side of the valley to the other in wheat and grain for local families.
Before western settlers, this valley was settled by the Yokuts native people.  The mural above depicts a sampling of the beautiful and functional pine needle baskets they made, their dwellings- made of reeds and grass, and their native clothing.

Like the Coastal Chumash people, an abundance of oak trees on the valley floor led the Yokuts to utilize acorns for food.  I can still remember learning how to grind and blanch them in boiling water in science class as a child.  The Yokuts would make many nutritious foods with them after leaching out the toxins.

 The mural below celebrates an incredible 50 years of volunteerism and service by local Lion John Schultz.
 The mural below showcases the orange groves that fill up the landscape allover the region and the hardworking people that work the fields.
This mural features local figures from a few farm families that worked hand in hand for years bringing in the grape harvest.
 This mural was too big to fit into a single frame.  The background is the Sierra-Nevada mountains.  There are a few sepia colored images in the front.  They're vignettes of historic places inside the Sequoia National Park.  This one features the Mineral King encampment.  A small community that survives today without modern amenities.
 I really enjoyed the images of vintage fruit boxes.
Quite a few of the murals we saw incorporate native themes and images.  The image below shows two local Watchumna children, Leta and Hawtoy.  Real local figures.  These children attended local schools.  Leta was such a good student that in her first year of study she completed two years of study.   
 In this mural they are shown dressed in their native clothes, made for them by their grandparents.

Well, that's all of the murals I have images of today... but I am driving back to Exeter again real soon.  I will collect and post more again soon.  Have a wonderful week!



  1. You don't see this much anymore. It's a great look back into history. A town near us, Cuba MO, has murals too.

  2. What a great springboard for history exploration! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Those are beautiful! I would much rather see these than billboards!

  4. Thanks for stopping by Kathy, Daisy, and Donna. I hope ya'll have a GREAT week.

  5. I love these and thanks for the history that goes with them! How fun that there are so many in the one town. :)


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