MOORESVILLE – The sun warmed the red brick siding of CVS pharmacy’s Main Street location as a small crowd gathered along its sidewalk April 10 for a special announcement.
The group soon learned that stretch of brick wall won’t be barren much longer.
CVS partnered with the Mooresville Beautification Committee to place murals celebrating the history of the town along the wall.
Rick Cerchiara, chairman of the Mooresville Beautification Committee, said the project wouldn’t have been possible without the Mooresville Downtown Commission, Mooresville Historic Preservation Commission and Mooresville Museum.
“We’re going to be presenting our past, but it’s also a really great new beginning of our future with CVS as a partner in our community,” Mayor Miles Atkins said.
Sign Innovations in Huntersville will complete all of the design, printing, assembly and installation work.
Although not all the panels were available to view, the first in the line-up honors the town’s establishment date of 1873 as well as its first appointed mayor, John Robert McNeely, and his wife, Esther Jane Moore.
Commissioner Mac Herring said McNeely was his uncle’s grandfather.
“Unfortunately, when you built on Main Street,” Herring told CVS District Manager Jeff Huetteman, “there were no rules to guide how the building went in.”
The town’s historic preservation commission was born out of a negative response to developers tearing down a historic gas station to make room for the CVS about 15 years ago, according to Herring.
In a way, the history wall is almost a visual means of reconciliation.
“I look forward to the commitment we’re going to make to the town of Mooresville and am pleased to be part of the beautification program,” Huetteman said.
One photo on the journey through time portrays the train depot with flatbed railroad cars loaded with cotton, which is the oldest known photograph of the town.
No history wall would be complete without paying homage to the town’s 20th century lifeblood, textiles. So there’s a board to provide an overview of the Mooresville Cotton Mill, begun in 1893, as well as Mill Village, which sprang up to house its workers.
Tales about the turn-of-the-century D.E. Turner & Co. Hardware Store, the Mooresville Ice Cream Company and the family of John Moore, who contributed land to the town’s settlement, will also be included on the wall, according to Cerchiara.
“This town has been moving toward respecting and honoring its past and realizing that’s a good way into the future,” he said. “We saw this big, beautiful brick wall here and said ‘we can tell the story of Mooresville on that wall.’ Especially telling the thousands of people who’ve moved into this area for the first time in the last 10 years, this’ll help those folks maybe get a feel for what this town’s all about.”