Rain doesn’t dampen mural’s presentation|[3/19/06]

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 20, 2006

Rain caused the unveiling of the newest flood wall mural to be moved inside the Old Court House Museum, but those in attendance said the rain did not dampen the spirit of the unveiling that was also a tribute to Vicksburg historian Blanche Terry.

&#8220You never could cloud mother’s parade,” said Jim Terry, Blanche Terry’s son. &#8220This has been a heartwarming experience.”

About 100 people filled the seats of the old courtroom in the museum to see the presentation of the mural, &#8220The War Between the States,” and remember Blanche Terry, a native of Vicksburg who spent 35 years doing historical research and working at the Old Court House Museum. She died in 2004.

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&#8220Blanche would have probably rathered it had been in the court house,” said Gordon Cotton, director and curator. &#8220At first I was disappointed about the weather, but it was comfortable in here.”

The mural, painted on a 20-by-12-foot section of the wall, is sponsored by Blanche Terry’s family and friends, as well as the Vicksburg Warren County Historical Society.

The mural, shown to the audience on a projection screen, depicts the CSS Arkansas attacking the Union fleet in 1862 on the Mississippi River at Vicksburg. In the background, the mural shows the top of the court house and St. Paul’s Catholic Church.

During the unveiling ceremony, Cotton said this mural was a perfect image to be created in the memory of Blanche Terry.

&#8220She loved her Southern heritage, she loved this building and she loved St. Paul’s Church,” he said.

Ginny Terry Raymond, Blanche Terry’s daughter, said the historical society contacted her family about doing the mural and she is very pleased with how it turned out.

&#8220It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Jim Terry.

He also thanked Nellie Caldwell, volunteer chairman of the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals Committee, during the ceremony for her work on this mural, as well as the whole project.

&#8220We want to thank Nellie Caldwell for her work in converting the flood wall into an attractive work of art,” Jim Terry said.

The mural, painted by Robert Dafford Murals, is the 16th of its kind to be completed on the flood wall at City Front. Caldwell said the mural completes phase one of the project, which includes 14 murals on the south end of the entrance to the river. The Carr Central High School mural has been completed on the north end of the wall, but has not been officially unveiled. Also the logging mural is completed on the north side. Two more murals are expected to be unveiled in April, the &#8220Brothers Boys” mural and one depicting the 1953 tornado.

Also during the event, a plaque was unveiled that will hang in the museum as a memorial to Blanche Terry. The plaque was designed by her granddaughter, Leslie Raymond.