Transport in Time and Place: Trains, Planes and Automobiles Mural
This mural centers around the historic Southern Pacific Depot, built in 1887, illustrating the many activities relating to the use of the railroad. Several vintage vehicles are depicted in stunning detail. Left to right: a 1937 Hudson Coupe, a 1934 Dodge Panel Truck, then a 1937 Greyhound Super Coach, and a 1931 Indian motorcycle. The steam engine is circa 1890. The panel on the right shows soldiers leaving for service in the Korean War and a walnut packing house circa 1946. The panel on the left shows U.S. President Benjamin Harrison passing through Santa Paula in 1891, and lemons being loaded on boxcars.
Wendell Dowling, muralist
Wendell Dowling, a local artist with deep roots in Santa Paula, says, “I never wanted to be anything but an artist for as long as I can remember.” His artistic talents have led him into a wide variety of artistic pursuits from working as a technical illustrator for an engineering firm to a freelance artist creating illustrations for numerous books and magazines.
One of his favorite projects was to illustrate a book, “Stalls, Spins and Safety,” written by his father-in-law Sammy Mason, a famous test pilot for Lockheed Corporation and a legend among flying enthusiasts.
Given his passion for detailed illustrations, Dowling was a logical choice for this mural depicting the many modes of transportation that helped move Santa Paula into the 20th Century.
Dowling painstakingly researched every detail of the trains, planes and automobiles shown in the mural. He and his wife, Lynne, created this fantastic mural over a period of several months.