Artist: Damien Mitchell
Location: Dick's Barbershop, 1 E. Franklin St., Greencastle, IN
To celebrate the 200th year of the founding of Greencastle, IN, the Putnam County Mural Project teamed up with the City of Greencastle to create a beautiful mural that celebrates some of the people, places, and ideas that make Greencastle, IN a wonderful community.
The Putnam County Mural Project team brought together a volunteer group of community members to serve on a historical ideation committee, as well as a separate panel to help select the muralist from a pool of applications from an open call for artists in the Spring of 2023.
The mural was installed over a period of twelve days in September 2023 by Australian-based artist, Damien Mitchell. As part of his visit, Damien facilitated an Intro to Spray Paint Workshop for local residents, teaching them technics in mural-making and spray painting. He also engaged a local high school art class, which helped with based coating during the first days of painting.
Historical elements within the mural:
1. Edith Browning
Edith Browning, better known as The Chewing Gum Lady, is a 20th century legend inGreencastle. She was born in New Market, IN in 1908. She graduated from DePauw in 1927.She briefly attended business school, but came back to Greencastle when Central NationalBank hired her as a secretary. She was a diminutive woman, just 5 feet in stature, but herreputation of offering sticks of Juicy Fruit gum to all children who came into the bank quicklygrew. She gave away about 100 sticks of Juicy Fruit each week to three generations of children.Her only prerequisite was that the child had to be shorter than she was. She died in the summerof 1997 at the age of 91. She was the subject of many newspaper articles over the years, anABC 20/20 show, and received mention in the U.S. Congressional Record.
4. Eli Lilly
Eli Lilly was born in 1838 in Maryland. His family moved first to Kentucky and in 1852 toGreencastle. After learning the drug business at the Good Samaritan Drug Store in Lafayette,Ind., he returned to Greencastle in 1861 and opened his first drug store at 2 West WashingtonStreet.
3. Percy Julian
Percy Julian (class of 1920) was a research fellow at DePauw when he first synthesized the
drug physostigmine, making it readily available for the treatment of glaucoma. He is regarded as
one of the most influential chemists in American history.
4. East College/DePauw University
DePauw University was founded on January 10, 1837 as a result of Greencastle, Ind. citizenspledging $25,000.00. The East College building cornerstone was placed in 1870 and was againfunded by the citizens of Greencastle. It has become the iconic symbol of the University.
5. Putnam County Playhouse
Putnam County Playhouse was founded in 1961 by a group of citizens whose goal was “To
provide the people of Greencastle and the surrounding area with the opportunity to participate in
and enjoy live theater.” Plays are produced and presented from June - September in the 220
seat Hazel Day Longdon theater.
Shortly after the close of World War II, IBM began to envision a plant in the Midwest to better serve users of IBM equipment in that area. Surveys indicated that Indiana was the population center for IBM Midwestern customers and that excellent transportation facilities were available.On March 9, 1953, construction began on the new plant in Greencastle, which took over a year to erect. Production at Greencastle began on Monday, May 10, 1954. Most of the 150 initial employees engaged were within the Putnam County area. On November 11, 1986, IBM announced it would be closing the Greencastle plant effective March of 1987. This was the first ever plant closure for IBM.
7. City of Greencastle
Greencastle was founded September 27, 1823 when Ephraim Dukes made a gift of land to the
agent of the county. It was named by him for a town in Pennsylvania that was home to his wife,
Rebecca. It became the county seat of Putnam county in 1823 as stipulated by Ephraim Dukes
in his gift and was incorporated by the state legislature in 1849. In the late 1980s Richard
Peeler, a local potter and artist, made the depiction of the city in what has now become known
and accepted as the official seal of the city. It is Mr. Peeler’s rendition that is represented on the
8. Peoples Pathways
Putnam County People’s Parks and Pathways is the ongoing evolution of the Greencastle
People Pathways Project; to expand outdoor recreational opportunities for walkers, runners and
cyclists in Putnam and connecting to Hendricks and Clay counties. The Greencastle People’s
Pathway project started in 1995 and now has over twenty miles of an interconnected pathway
system. See putnamparks.org for more information.
9. Covered Bridges
There are nine historic bridges in Putnam County. The Dunbar Bridge is the closest of these
structures and is located just north of the city.
10. Monon Railroad
The railroad we commonly refer to as the Monon runs north and south through the county. The
entire length of the line from New Albany to Michigan City was formally dedicated in a grand
ceremony at New Albany on July 4, 1854, officially linking the Great Lakes to the Ohio River.
Species native to Greencastle, Indiana area:
11. Purple Milkweed asclepias purpurascens, Swamp Milkweed asclepias incarnata
12. Eastern Bluebird sialia sialis
13. Virginia Bluebells mertensia virginica