Canandaigua RR Station Mural Completed

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by Robert Ward

Mural artist Amy Colburn has just finished work on her latest project: a large mural on the trackside of the Murphy’s Tires building on Niagara Street in Canandaigua. With the help of a movable scaffold created by her father Marty Wheeler, Amy has spent the last two months painting a scene of daily life at the Canandaigua railroad station as it may have appeared in 1916.

Photo: Amy Colburn and her father Marty Wheeler.

Although initially not really knowledgeable in railroads, she quickly became proficient with research assistance from Robert Ward and advice from frequent passersby. She began design for the project over two years ago and successfully presented her proposal to Canandaigua officials then navigated insurance, access, and scheduling issues with Finger Lakes Railway in Geneva. Her unique philosophies carried her through both summer heat and early snow. According to Amy, the scene is fundamentally “lines and shapes”. Amy constantly followed her philosophies of Preparation, Practice and Patience. This remarkable accomplishment was done as a part of a historic Canandaigua initiative. Definitely worth a trip to view life in bygone days.

Photo courtesy of Amy Colburn

Worthy of note: One of the many passersby as the mural was being painted were Helen McClure Volpe and Tom Jameson of Farmington. Helen is 102 years young and still enjoys dancing with Tom at the Finger Lakes Racino and VonMaur’s at Eastview Mall. Turns out Helen’s father, Roy McClure, was the station master at the Canandaigua railroad station. Unfortunately, his career ended when he leaned back on a chair which broke, leading to his death three days after suffering a head injury on the job.

Thanks to Amy, Marty, Tom and the Ontario County Historical Society for help in preparing this article. Submitted by Robert Ward.

A dedication will be scheduled next spring. Nice job, Amy!

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