If you want to know about Evansville’s past, just take a walk along the History Wall.
The roughly 60-foot piece located inside the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana is a pictorial progression of industry and community in Evansville. Completed last August, the wall begins its story in 1803, when Meriwether Lewis first launched along the Ohio River to pick up William Clark for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It ends at the 2011 construction of the Ford Center.
Matt Meadors, the former president and chief executive officer of the chamber, was inspired to show the wall through a joint project between the Chamber, Y Factor Studios, Sign-A-Rama, and local historian Harold Morgan.
“People should expect to be impressed when they first see it,” Morgan says. “The more I got into it, the more I saw in the value of history walls. They go great in churches, schools, libraries, hospitals — places with great stories.”
Morgan knows great stories. Growing up in Evansville, he began studying Evansville’s World World II years. His father, a tail-wing inspector at Republic Aviation, led him into his “second life” of publishing history books. Morgan has written and published seven books, contributing significantly to the just-published “Evansville at 200” book, published by the City of Evansville Bicentennial Committee and produced by Tucker Publishing Group.
Local folks can see the wall in the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana office in the Innovation Pointe building on Main Street.
Designer Jennifer Scales-Stewart, owner of Y Factor Studio, says it was a joint effort to select around 130 images from a total of 300 to best tell the city’s story. “Our job was to take the photos and create a cohesive design,” she says. “We’ve done other designs for company history walls that exhibit their past, ethics, and safety.”
The manufacturing was left to AmeriStamp Sign-A-Rama’s Evansville location. Matthew Effinger, a marketing consultant with Sign-A-Rama, made the wall. “With different depths and styles, the old pictures really come to life with a lot of dimensions,” he says.
The wall is an extension of a diorama that is in the lobby of the building that houses the chamber and the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana. Greg Wathen, president and CEO of the economic development coalition, says the diorama is one of the first things people see when they come into the lobby.
The 60-foot wall itself, however, was driven by Meadors and the chamber. Wathen says it’s a great snapshot of the chamber’s membership over the decades.
“It has a perpetual feeling to it,” Morgan adds. “In 60 feet, we cover centuries of development, and there are many other places with tradition and history that could benefit from something as unique as this.”
For more information visit Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana. Read more about Y Factor Studios in the October/November 2012 issue of Evansville Business, or visit yfactorstudio.com. Visit Sign-A-Rama to see what other services they can offer.