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THE MURALS OF TERRELL,TEXAS
STEARMAN KAYDET PT 17 BIPLANE – (Northwest corner Frances and Moore Avenue)
This mural is dedicated to the No. 1 British Flying
Training School (BFTS) located here in Terrell.
The flight training school was established in 1941
to train British flyers who due to the Nazi blitz,
could not train in England. The school operated
until the end of WWII in 1945.
The biplane pictured would have been the first aircraft a cadet would train in during his course at No.1 BFTS. The designation PT stood for “Primary Trainer”. During World War II thousands of British pilots learned to fly at six civilian training schools located in the United States, the first of these being located in Terrell, Texas. During the middle years of the war some US Army Air Corps cadets also trained at No. 1 along with their Royal Air Force (RAF) comrades. British graduates, a total of around 1,470 receiving their wings in Terrell, went on to fly in every theatre in which the RAF fought. Many never lived to see the end of the war, twenty died during flight training here and are buried in Oakland Memorial Cemetery in Terrell. Terrell citizens welcomed the student pilots to their community and many life-long bonds were forged. This mural was painted by the members of the NorthEast Fine Art Alliance and was a community effort sponsorship.
To left of the biplane mural is the map of England superimposed over a map of Texas representing the
unity of purpose in the war effort. This painting is
actually based on a flight training map with Terrell
and London occupying the same spot on the map.
The original map is currently on display at Terrell’s No.1 British Flying Training School Museum. This Mural was painted by Sunny Delipsey and was sponsored by The Terrell Heritage Society.
COLONEL GREEN AND HIS 1899 AUTOMOBILE – the first gasoline powered auto in Texas.
(At the Southeast corner of Moore Ave. and Rockwall Street)
This mural shows several modes of transportation that were important to the development of Terrell. The railroad came in 1873 opening up new avenues of shipping cotton and other crops to a more far reaching market. But the most important is the depiction of Col. E. H.R. Green’s automobile. Colonel Greene, large in physical stature and in personality, was the son of Hetty Green, known as the “Witch of Wall Street” and was the richest woman in the world during her lifetime. She owned the Midland Railroad which ran North and South through Terrell and made her son, the President. Colonel Green made Terrell his home during his bachelor days and in 1899 purchased one of two motor cars that had been built in St. Louis and had it shipped to Terrell. Known as the “St. Louis”, Green and the maker of the car, George Preston Dorris, acting as his driving instructor, set out for Dallas. As they neared Forney, there was a mishap and the water tank was damaged. It is believed that the necessary repairs were done at a blacksmith shop in Forney by Reeve Henry. Legend has it that Mr. Henry was a kinsman of John Wiley Price, Dallas County Commissioner. This mural was painted by Sunny Delipsey and was sponsored by The Terrell Heritage Society.
TEXAS FLAG MURAL – (Southside of RR tracks at Rockwall St.)
A beautiful representation of the Texas State Flag. This mural was painted by Sunny Delipsey and was sponsored by The Terrell Heritage Society and a generous donor.
VOLUNTEER FIRE HOUSE MURAL – (South side of Railroad Alley in the W. 200 block)
This mural was painted on the side of the Terrell Volunteer Fire Department at the southwest corner of South Frances and the Railroad tracks. It shows Terrell Volunteer Fire Department’s long time relationship with the City of Terrell as the city’s only fire department for many years. Shown in the fire truck on the right is former Volunteer Fire Chief John R. Briggs and in the fire truck on the left, former longtime volunteer fireman Dal Harper, the father of Terrell’s current paid Fire Department Chief, Jim Harper. This mural was painted by Sunny Delipsey and was sponsored by The Terrell Heritage Society.
MOVIE POSTER MURALS – (North side of Railroad Alley) Back of Books and Crannies at 209 W. Moore Ave.
The mural is a series of movie posters from the early days of Hollywood. The mural pays homage to the beginnings of this building as a movie theatre. The Iris Theatre, built by Leaman Marshall, opened in 1925 and was touted in the newspaper as “Terrell’s Finest Theatre”. (In the 1920's there were three theatres operating in downtown Terrell – The Iris, The Palace, and the Lyric.) The posters include "The Lady", a silent film which was the first movie shown at The Iris. The Iris operated continuously as a movie theatre from 1925 to 2001 when the modern multi-screen theatres in Mesquite drew the crowds away from the historic single screen theatre. The mural also includes the poster for "Wings", which was the First Academy Award winner of Best Picture.
The lady on the bench is Mrs. Marion Briggs, wife of John Briggs (a former mayor of Terrell) who was instrumental in clearing the way for the current owners to renovate the building into Books and Crannies after the Iris ceased operation. The cat beside her is Maddie, a resident of Books and Crannies who is a Hurricane Katrina refugee and now works as the bookstore greeter. This mural was painted by Sunny Delipsey and was sponsored by The Terrell Heritage Society.
Also, don’t miss the mural of Charlie Chaplin on the rear door of the building which the current owners of the building had painted - also by Sunny Delipsey and sponsored by Books and Crannies.
Terrell’s newest mural is now being painted on the former Lyric Theatre Building at 115 West Moore Avenue – sponsored by the Terrell Downtown Association..