The latest attraction to encompass the importance and general story of Moniteau County has been completed.
Muralist Dennis Holliday put the first strokes of paint on the south wall of the Moniteau County Historical Society last October and, just last week, the final touches were made.
To express their gratitude for the mural, members of California Progress, Inc. and the Moniteau County Historical Society held a ribbon cutting for the mural following the 2019 Moniteau County Fair Parade.
Gail Hughes, a member of the historical society, told the crowd how important the completed project is to the community.
"It's a reminder of the history of this county and will always serve as an educational tool for any who walk or drive past it," Hughes said.
Holliday said to the congregation of about 25 spectators that no matter where he paints, he finds he has a similar experience with passersby.
"I'll be working on the mural, and someone will walk by and tell me a story about the area," he said. "Usually they'll be someone who grew up there and something I'm painting will remind them of their childhood in some way. It really helps me to learn more about what the mural means to the community."
Holliday said the frequency of passersby during this mural's progress was similar to other murals in other towns.
"Everything in this mural represents something that has happened at the fair in this county," he said. "I wanted to make sure I got everything I could to show how important the fair is to Moniteau County."
He went on to say a mural of this magnitude normally takes him about 90 days to finish. But due to the ever-changing Missouri weather, the mural had to wait a few more months. Nevertheless, appreciation for his efforts was shown by the community.
Sarah Holtsclaw of the Moniteau County Historical Society also offered words of encouragement and praise for the mural.
"This mural is absolutely beautiful, it's attractive and we are so proud to have it in our town," Holtsclaw said.
Bruce Nichols is the president of the Moniteau County Historical Society. This article was edited at 11 a.m. Aug. 14, 2019, to remove a misidentification in the original version.