Erwin, TN 37650
While thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2007 I stopped by the Erwin TN Post Office. One way to re-supply as you hike along the trail is to ship provisions to yourself via general delivery to a local post office. It was here that I discovered a wonderful mural on the lobby wall.
The Erwin TN, post office was my first exposure to these large murals. Often confused with the WPA, the artwork was commissioned through the Section of Fine Arts. A division of the US Treasury, the section of fine arts was responsible for employing local artist during the economic depression of the 1930’s.
Although this particular mural does not appear to be from the 1930’s era it’s still a great piece of art. The date April 1970 appears at the lower right hand corner of the mural. This brings me to the conclusion it was not an original work commissioned by the Section of Fine Arts. I’d really be interested in any other information my readers may have regarding this one.
Since my local post office does not have any artwork, murals, display cases or artifacts, I had no idea these even existed. The Erwin, TN post office exposed me to this wonderful treasure for all to enjoy. After doing some basic research, I was pleasantly surprised to find out there is a larger collection of this artwork throughout the US.
One of the questions people often ask me is, “How has thru-hiking changed you?”, or “What did you learn about yourself while you were hiking for 6 months?”. Now that I’m able to reflect a little more on these questions, one answer is this. I realized one of our nations treasures is artwork found at local post offices through-out our nation.
I’ve also learned that the post office is one of those institutions we often take for granted. I have a deeper appreciation for our postal system and everyone involved. Resent budget cuts and other forces threaten our postal system and I only hope the artwork does not get lost in the shuffle. I’m now on a mission to view as many as I can before they disappear.
To learn more about my adventure hiking the Appalachian trail please visit. TheFuzzyMonkey.net
Thanks for reading
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