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The Chadbourne Street Mural


85' wide x 14' high

Painted by Crystal Goodman in 2005, this mural is located at the intersection of Concho Avenue and South Chadbourne Street. These and other downtown San Angelo streets were originally covered with approximately 4-by-4-by-12-inch wood blocks placed on end as the road surface. The entire scene of the streetcar and automobile accident brings emphasis to the evolution of transportation, from horses and horse-drawn wagons and buggies to mechanized automobiles, streetcars, and trains.

The first electric streetcar operated by the San Angelo Power and Traction Company rolled up Chadbourne Street on Sept. 7, 1908. From downtown, the rail route went north for about three miles to the new Lake View subdivision, where developers were trying to sell lots and acreages. The streetcar company changed owners several times until Sam Crowther purchased the line in 1909 and renamed it the San Angelo Street Railway Company. It went out of business in late 1915. On Oct. 1, 1908, Henry Ford unveiled the Model T automobile that by late the same year was already involved in a San Angelo traffic accident as painted from a vintage photograph. Some historians think of the 1908-1927 Ford Model T as the most significant automobile of all time.

The first telephone book for San Angelo in 1908 listed 30 merchants in the 200 Block of South Chadbourne Street. The artist did extensive research and found several vintage photographs from that period that she used in choosing the businesses shown in the mural, including the J.S. Lochabay barber shop, Cunningham tailor shop, Probant printing shop, and Star and Arc Light saloons. The Heritage Haus now owns the building at 230 S. Chadbourne Street that was the Arc Light Saloon from 1880 to 1918. There is a mural on the wall of Heritage Haus that was commissioned by the Alexander Family around 1958 to honor the building's days as the Arc Light Saloon. Most of the other buildings are still in existence and house art galleries, floral boutiques, boot makers, and insurance agencies.

Look closely and you will see a gentleman holding a domino. This character represents well-known San Angeloan Dal Dewees, a longtime supporter and sponsor of the Downtown Murals project. Dewees has hosted the annual Domino Tournament fundraiser since 2003. Just to the right, in front of the Arc Light Saloon, is a character representing Ken Gunter, a prominent community citizen and another generous patron of the Downtown Murals project. The photographer capturing the evidence at the scene represents McArthur Cullen Ragsdale, a pioneer West Texas photographer who settled and opened his photography business in San Angelo in 1882.

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