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The Lincoln Mural

Lincoln Mural Finished

In 2004 the Ferndale community became the beneficiaries of an extraordinary opportunity. After 30 years stored in an unknown location, the nine foot by four foot mural of the 16th Ray White and Lincoln MuralPresident of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, that had hung in the district's former Lincoln High School from the time it was painted in 1929 until the 1970s, an anonymous man appeared at the Ferndale Historical Society with the badly aged and damaged mural folded into a plastic garbage bag. Ray White from the Ferndale Historical Society brought the damaged mural to the Ferndale Schools Superintendent. Lincoln Mural before and afterExtensive research into the background of the mural was undertaken by Jean Spang and Sherry A. Wells of the Ferndale Historical Society who discovered that under the direction of art teacher Rosemary Lawrence, five students from the Lincoln High School Class of 1929 (Ivey Booth, Stuart Friedrich, Elsa Goodyear, John Norton, and Rosemary Wesley) had painted the mural as their senior class gift, their lasting legacy to the school which hung in the main corridor of Lincoln High School for five decades depicting the students' view of the journey from the time of slavery to a time of hope for the future. The grand, central image of Lincoln, who is under an arch featuring a quotation from his Second Inaugural Address: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in ..." On either side of Lincoln, nested under an arch with the Inaugural quotation, are depicted two groups of  people. On the left side are two men, a woman and child who appear to be in chains, one holding a basket full of cotton. On the right side, pictured in front of the Capitol dome, are men and women dressed as scholars and skilled workers with a diploma and books depicting the accomplishments African-Americans had been able to achieve in education in the years following emancipation.

Dayton Spence restorerThe Ferndale Schools Board of Education determined that the value to the community of restoring this valuable piece of art that honors Lincoln's legacy warranted restoring the damaged mural and turned to art restoration expert Dayton Spence who declared it a priceless representation of folk art and painstakingly restored it for permanent Lincoln Mural Restorer Dayton Spencedisplay. Now that the Lincoln Mural has been restored, the Ferndale Schools Board of Education is commemorating the 200th anniversary year of President Abraham Lincoln's birth by ceremonially transferring the mural from the school district to the Ferndale Historical Society where it will be permanently displayed in the historical museum where Lincoln High School alumni, current and future Ferndale Schools students, community members, and Lincoln enthusiasts will have opportunities to visit and view it in perpetuity.

On Monday, February 23, 2009, the Ferndale Public Schools Board of Education celebrated the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln's birth by donating the Lincoln High School Mural of 1929 to the Ferndale Historical Society.

Lincoln Mural Artists


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