Ok, now if we head back outside the park, with the park behind us and Main Street in front of us, there’s a mural over on the right, on the wall along the base of the bridge That’s our final stop on this Detour, and we’ll turn it over to Michelle Truett, who was one of the driving forces behind the mural’s creation.

Welcome to the Bagg’s Square “Always Making History” mural. Here you’ll find over 250 years of Utica history, starting with the importance of Old Fort Schuyler and the ford in the Mohawk River and walking you through over 110 people, places, and events that shaped the Bagg’s Square neighborhood and truly the entire city of Utica. 

The mural is just under 80 feet long and was completed in April 2016.

It took a mere four-and-a half months to complete, and that includes all of the research, writing, lots of proofing, design and installation. Michelle Truett was one of the driving forces behind the project. We brought together some of the greatest minds in local history to contribute to the project. You can see all of their names in the credits section at the end of the mural, along with our biggest partners that helped make this happen. There were great conversations had, and stories shared and uncovered in the building of the project.

Spending some time here, you’ll see which US presidents and notable guests stayed at the famed Bagg’s Hotel, or by surprised at who spoke at Mechanics Hall, read about the rise and fall of the world-famous Saturday Globe newspaper, and learn about all of the new businesses that are contributing to the recent resurgence of the neighborhood. It’s all here on the wall.

One of the favorite things that teachers point out to students here at the mural is the photo of the Union Station clock, where workers are standing on and around it as it towers over Main Street back in 1914. It’s one of the panels on top of the mural, just past the center point. Do you see it? I love that guy on the left who standing on top of the eagle’s head. You know that would never be allowed today. Now if you turn 180 degrees and look over at the actual Union Station, that same clock is right there in real life over 100 years later. The kids loved making that connection and reflecting on that history, and we’re sure you will too.

We’ve heard that to fully read the entire mural. It’ll take almost an hour and a half. It’s worth it, but even if you only have a few minutes. You’re sure to pick up on a memorable piece of Utica history that you can pass along.

Thanks Michelle. Thanks also to Joe Botini, Leo Gilman, Brian Howard, Bob Pellegrino, and Mike Bosak for all their help, and to you, for coming along.

This Detour was produced by Ryan Miller, Matt Wagner, and me, Geoff Storm. Thanks again. Take care.