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Mural offers scenes from Salem history

December 16, 2012
Morning Journal News

SALEM - Downtown visitors will have the chance to learn some Salem history from another mural by resident artist Robert Schuck, this time on the front of a State Street building.

The 89-year-old painter's work will be mounted above the offices of Byler, Wolfe, Lutsch, Kampfer CPAs, 360 E. State St. with help from the city Service and Safety departments in the next week or two.

Schuck painted the images using acrylics on four separate panels which were being copied by Digital Color Imaging of Akron for one 6-foot by 24-foot mural. The project is part of Murals of Salem, under the auspices of the Salem Preservation Society through a donation from Farmers National Bank.

Article Photos

Salem artist Robert Schuck poses with one of four paintings he completed earlier this year that all together form one panel depicting about 50 scenes from Salem's history. The paintings are being transformed into a 6-foot by 24-foot mural to be mounted on a downtown building on State Street in the next week or two. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Murals of Salem began as the brainchild of Schuck, a 1941 Salem High School graduate who came up with the idea while working on paintings about the Stark Electric Railroad.

Using his own money last year, he had the three paintings copied for a mural which is now mounted onto the north outside wall of the railroad's former office on Ellsworth Avenue, just north of State Street. The mural can be seen while traveling south on Ellsworth on the building which now houses a barbecue restaurant.

Since then, he started contacting people and visited all the banks in the city looking for donations, making the latest mural mounting possible.

The goal for the Murals of Salem Committee is to raise enough money to produce 10 murals over the next three years. Local artists are being asked to donate their time to depict Salem's history, much like Schuck has done.

"We hope to be able to raise a lot more money," Schuck said.

He started working on the "Old Salem" history project in January and completed the paintings about three months later, using pictures from the Salem Historical Society and images from an old newspaper about Salem's Centennial celebration as guides.

Many residents will recognize some of the scenes, such as the Central Clinic that stood on Second Street where the Broadway Plaza is located now or Salem industrialist Sam Keener standing in front of the plane he flew around the world.

Other images include Reilly stadium, the Mullins factory and some of the statues produced there, the old Salem City Hall, the old post office, Strotter Brown and his baskets, and the front of Scott's Candy store.

The Murals of Salem Committee includes its creator, Schuck, Ginger Grilli from the Salem Preservation Society, Cami Franzen from the Salem Tourism Advisory Board, David Stratton from the Salem Historical Society and Donna Chappell from the art community.

Individuals and businesses can make tax-deductible donations to help with the Murals of Salem project. Checks should be made payable to the Salem Preservation Society, with Murals of Salem marked on the notation line, P.O. Box 1034, Salem, Ohio 44460.

For information, contact Schuck at 330-337-2514.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at



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