New art in downtown Ponca City representing town history

Ponca City Now - July 10, 2014 9:16 am

Of course most know, E.W. Marland struck oil here in Ponca City around 1911 which lead to the birth of the refinery. But did you know he had an office downtown, along with the first filling station? Maybe not, which is why the Main Street Association decided to add a historical mural to downtown. Jayne Detten, Main Street Executive Director said the Marland office was across the street from the post office, and the filling station was on the corner of where the post office is today. The new mural isn’t far from there either. It’s right above Happy Days Cafe, on the side of the Marland Mall building.

“ We did some research on vintage advertisements for Marland Oil, and came across several post cards and decided to have one of those advertisements painted on a side of a building downtown,” Detten said. “We were able to budget it in and the building owners cooperated. We hired the artist who were the mural painters from the murals that were done several years ago. They’re a group of artist with their professor, Bob Palmer from the University of Central Oklahoma, and they came up and painted the vintage oil sign.”

Detten said it’s the Main street Association’s job to pass on the history of Ponca City, especially if it pertains to the downtown district. Since that is the associations mission they felt there needed to be a piece of historic fabric representing the Marland Oil history downtown.

“It’s not suppose to be like a landscape painting,” Detten said. “It’s an advertisement, so it’s a copy of an early day advertisement. So, part of the motives aren’t real detailed, but again it was intended to advertise the Marland Oil Products. That’s the reason it looks the way it does and the colors are 1920s, as is the style of art that you see in the mural.”

The mural is now complete. So, n ow as you drive down Grand Avenue you’ll notice the bold green, blue and red of the mural and be reminded where it all began. The painting shows a simpler time with a car unlike the ones we drive today and the slogan, “for smooth traveling.”


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