Part II: Look out Wikipedia, here come the Murals of York, courtesy of Roundtown Elementary third graders

200px-Lewis_Miller_Murals.jpg
‘Weighing the Butter’ is one of 16 mini-murals that join 18 large-scale panels to form the Murals of York. This adaptation of Lewis Miller’s work appears on the wall of the Central Market Annex and on a recent Wikipedia site prepared by York County, Pa., third graders. Also of interest: What is the widest, tallest, largest of the Murals of York, Pa.? And the smallest? and Bank adds murals to York County’s walls and From garden to can, New Freedom mural tells the story and Part I: Look out Wikipedia, here come the Murals of York, courtesy of Roundtown Elementary third graders.

OK, folks, follow this trail:
York County artist/carpenter Lewis Miller produced hundreds of pieces of art in the 1800s.
In and around the year 2000, the Murals of York, Inc., commissioned artist Justine Landis to produce 16 mini-murals depicting Lewis Miller’s work in Cherry Lane and on Central Market walls in downtown York, Pa.
Ten years later, third graders at Roundtown Elementary in the Central York School District developed a Murals of York page on Wikipedia for international viewing showing Justine’s rendition of Miller’s work.
So Lewis Miller goes viral, courtesy of Roundtown third graders.
Here is one entry in the Wikipedia posting explaining the mini-murals:

Without Lewis Miller’s drawings, we would have far fewer visual clues about what life was back in the 1800′s in York.
Lewis Miller did some funny drawing such as his portrayal of Mrs. Schreck. She had yellow toenails that where so long that Mr. Schreck had to saw them off with a saw, and she could not wear shoes. That is actually true.
Artist Justine Landis and her daughter, Lori Straup turned Lewis Miller’s drawing into mini murals.
The mini murals are funny but also show serious scenes about the life back in the 1800s. Some mini murals bear Miller’s writing in both German and English underneath the pictures. Most Yorkers spoke at least some German in the 1700s and early 1800s.
One mural shows him at work in his carpentry shop. He had hundreds of drawings in his journal and there were so many that a committee selected which murals to feature.
Even though the mini murals are larger than life-sized drawings, they are still smaller than the other Murals of York. Some of them are featured in Cherry Lane park and even on the side of the town’s Central Market house.
There are 16 mini murals in all.

Also of interest:
- Amy Masone’s class at Roundtown Elementary was among the third grade classes that did its homework in preparation of posting the Wikipedia page about the Murals of York. Here’s a pencast of my presentation to the classes on the topic.
- Here’s more by Yorkblogger Angie Mason on the project.
- Roundtown Elementary School’s third-graders explain the Murals of York here.
- The York Daily Record/Sunday News site about the murals can be found here.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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