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NOTICE: The Charter Vision project is dormant as of January 2008. This website is provided for archival purposes only.

No “Bull” When it comes to Helping the Community

Tabitha (Grade 11 / Minnesota New Country) Originally published November 2003
No "Bull" when it comes to helping the community
Gary Knox and the Liberty High gang are bullish on the future

Every time I walk down Main Street in Henderson, I marvel at the historic brick buildings that line it. Sometimes I can almost see the blacktop turn to dust under my feet and horses roped to hitching posts outside the buildings. No doubt things have changed in Henderson, and the passage of time is becoming even more evident on these sturdy brick structures. Many of the buildings have recently been through extensive restoration and repair. Staff and students from MNCS were given the opportunity to help in these preservation efforts.

They took some time out of their summer to repaint the mural that’s on the west side of what’s now the post office. To some, it’s just another tobacco advertisement, but for many it’s yet another character mark on the old building that now defines Henderson.

MNCS advisors and students aren’t cowed by the task of renovating historic Henderson

The Bull Durham tobacco ad was painted on what was then a saloon owned by John Gerken in 1895. The year the mural was painted is unknown, but Doug Thomas, current owner, thinks it may have been in the early 1920s. Around this time, the popular Durham, North Carolina-based tobacco company was painting these murals all across the country in a massive promotional campaign.

Even though it was restored in 1990, the faded lettering and chipped paint suggested it was due for a touch-up, which MNCS advisor Jim Wartman, Career Facilitator Jenn Studer, and students Seth, Brittany, were happy to do. It took wire brushes, TSP and high-pressure washing to finally take off the layers of peeling paint before they could begin the painting process. The job took about a week, and Seth says that helping restore even a small part of Henderson’s history makes him feel like a winner.

MNCS advisors and students aren't cowed by the task of renovating historic Henderson

“As part of Henderson’s 150th anniversary, a restoration project is taking place along Main Street. The object is to rejuvenate Henderson to the state it was in when the 20th century first dawned. The bulk of the work has been done by the real estate owners themselves, one of whom is Douglas Thomas, who recently received a Fred C. Cords Memorial and Preservation Foundation award for his work on Henderson’s Edvisions building. As far as I can tell, the work is coming along quite nicely, and I am sure every other member of the community of Henderson would agree.”
– Paul, 10th Grade, MNCS

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