New Paducah mural to tell story of train route from New Orleans to Chicago

New murals are coming to spruce things up a bit.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:11 PM CDT
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PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - Nothing beats a walk with a nice view and now the Paducah Riverwalk will have even more to look at.

Robert Dafford is painting history and he’s still not finished.

“Herb and I have been working on this for 26 years, so some of the paintings are 25 years old. So every year Herb and I meet here and restore some of the older paintings that need it. We have been doing new ones along the way too,” Dafford said.

Now, a new project is just starting.

“We came up with this idea of a long, narrow mural which portrays the route of the city of New Orleans the train from New Orleans to Chicago and it came here, Paducah, and there actually was a little sidetrack that came here to Paducah,” Dafford explained.

His work has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Paducah.

“People come from all over the country to see the murals,” he said.

And he’s right.

Dave Miller and his wife were headed home to Madison, Wisconsin when they decided to stop and see the murals.

“They’re awesome. It’s like a whole history museum,” Dave Miller said.

The history of Paducah.

“Its technological progress, its freedom progress through civil rights and other freedoms,” Miller continued.

Dafford is excited to add more stories with the new mural.

“This was a starting and ending spot for people going to Memphis, Baton Rouge, New Orleans or people going north to Carbondale or Chicago, so Paducah was a central point,” he said.

The new mural will be 200 feet long with scenes from the states along the train route.

Dafford is meeting with the railroad club on Wednesday, June 22 to discuss specific train imagery to use in the mural.

The artwork is expected to be finished by the end of July.

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