Port Henry will be a “village of public art” next weekend. The community will be part of the second annual Adirondack Coast and Boquet Valley Studio Tour Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5 and 6. Port Henry’s art attractions will be the focus of free tours starting at the downtown information booth 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A map and descriptive brochure covering the full range of art will be offered. Included in the tour will be the new Johnny Podres sign.
Port Henry will be a “village of public art” next weekend.
The community will be part of the second annual Adirondack Coast and Boquet Valley Studio Tour Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5 and 6. Port Henry’s art attractions will be the focus of free tours starting at the downtown information booth 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A map and descriptive brochure covering the full range of art will be offered.
“Over the last two years, local citizens have worked individually and in teams to create over a dozen large works of permanent murals and signs that will be showcased,” said Frank Martin, who will lead the tours along with members of the ph7 committee.
Port Henry’s historic architecture will also be part of the tour.
“Linda Smyth had the idea for all of the murals and with help from some children and friends painted them,” explained Jackie Viestenz of the ph7 committee. “The only one she didn’t paint is the Johnny Podres sign at the south end of town. Willie Grant made that on a commission from Pat Salerno.
“Linda is an artist and is involved with the Boquet River Art Guild,” Viestenz added. “On that weekend many artists and craftsmen will have their studios open from Port Kent to Port Henry. Instead of having her studio open, Linda decided to organize this tour of the public art.”
Smyth is out-of-town and will not be part of the tour, although her work will be.
“Attractions include large new murals depicting historic street scenes, a tropical jungle, the historic headquarters of the Witherbee Sherman Company, and an unusual restored ‘ghost sign’ with historic lettering,” Martin said. “A new entry sign on the south end of the village celebrates native son Johnny Podres who helped lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to a World Series victory in 1955.
“Visitors can also explore a beautifully-crafted new stone fountain, see a collection of quilts and have lunch at the newly-reopened and historically-restored Foote’s Port Henry Diner—one of the oldest in the country,” he said.
Port Henry’s Iron Center Interpretive Museum, documenting the area’s iron mining history, will be also be open.
“We hope to get people to think of Port Henry as a ‘village of public art’,” Martin said. “There may even be some new projects this fall.”
The tour will include:
— Port Henry’s village park. Near the information booth there is a large mural depicting the Witherbee Sherman Company headquarters that is now the town hall and a new mural lists important dates in Port Henry’s history. The park is hosting “Funky Folk,” a collection of wooden folk dressed to express the eclectic range of personalities to be found in Port Henry.
—The Church Garden Mural, which is located behind the Mt. Moriah Presbyterian Church. Painted in the summer of 2012, this mural is a jungle of exotic plants and animals including primeval grasses, a ladybug, and a flamingo.
— The Sherman Free Library, which is home to paintings of Crown Point, prominent citizens, a marble statue of a young girl and a “Birdseye view of Port Henry.”
—The Flower Paintings located in the lobby of the Lee House.
— The Bragg Brothers Vintage Sign, dating back to the 1930s. Port Henry artists recently restored this old “ghost sign” for the Bragg Brothers appliance store.
— Foote’s Port Henry Diner, which is one of the oldest in the country and one of the few with wheels. Local residents recently helped with the historic research into colors and the painting of the exterior.
—The Johnny Podres entry sign, located on the south entry to Port Henry honors Podres, the Most Valuable Player of the 1955 World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
— The Farmer’s Market Sign.
— The Johnny Podres Mural, located on the former Wheelock’s Chevrolet building. It depicts Port Henry’s lakeside location, railroad history and grand architecture. On the left, is the famed pitcher and native son On the right, an iron miner shines his headlamp.
— Historic street scene murals in the front windows of the former Belden-Edwards Ford Garage. The two grey-scale murals recreate historic photos of downtown Port Henry. The painting on the left shows Main Street look north circa 1910. The painting on the right shows the elegant old bandstand and fountain at the center of town.
— The Iron Center Interpretive Museum. Set in the carriage house of the former Witherbee-Sherman headquarters, the museum tells the story of Moriah and Port Henry’s iron mining history. There are historic artifacts inside and out along with a walk-around model and diorama explaining how the mines operated.
— Downtown Fountain. Recently, local citizens volunteered to rebuild the circular garden where, historically, the downtown bandstand had been located.
— Directional Sign to the World. Located at the entry to Port Henry’s village beach, the sign has homemade arrows pointing to places around the world and close by.
— Mountains of History Banners by Local Children. On the north and south entries to downtown Port Henry, are 12 banners with paintings of historic sites and stories chosen by local children. They include everything from iron mining to baseball to maritime history.