Dothan, Alabama is known as the Mural City because the history of the city and the area are preserved in large murals on the walls of buildings from the past. Instead of tearing down historical buildings in downtown, the Downtown Group decided to incorporate the history of Dothan into the past by hiring local artists to recreate the history of the town on its buildings. The results have been spectacular. History has come alive within the paintings and local people have learned more about their history than could be taught in a history class.
Art and culture have been slowly arriving in Dothan over the past two decades with the development of an Art Council and the Downtown Group (investors who are redeveloping downtown and bringing business into the center of the city again). The development of a local art museum inspired the painting of the murals. The murals were begun in 1993 and continue being created today. The Downtown Group provides group and individual tours of the murals and sponsors a celebration of the arts featuring the murals each spring, usually in April.
Visitors to Dothan should make a point of touring the murals in the city. Information can be found at the Dothan Visitor’s City located on the Ross Clark Circle near Golden Corral and the malls. The center contains information on events happening in the city, attractions, restaurants, hotels, and more. Included are self-guided maps of the murals for visitors who wish to tour on their own. Guides in the visitor’s center will answer questions and help the visitor to learn their way around the city.
The Downtown Group has a web site with a video of the murals and individual photos of the murals. Visitors may wish to visit the web site before beginning a tour for more information as well as visit the offices for guides and tours. (http://www.thedowntowngroup.com/index.html)
The murals include the following:
The Dothan Riot in the 1800’s
Salute to Johnny Mack – actor in Western movies
DeSoto’s visit to the Wiregrass Area
Sherman Rose and the Tuskegee Airmen
Salute to the Peanut Industry
Development of Fort Rucker
Contemporary and Country Artists from the area
Salutes to the local industries of cotton, turpentine, logging and the railroad
Other activities in Dothan include Water World Water Park, Landmark Park – a working Agricultural Museum, shopping at several mall complexes, restaurants of many types, and antiques. Located on the way to the Florida beaches, the city offers the visitor activities and lodging that help break up the long trip to and from the beaches. Stop in on you next trip to the beach. You will be glad you did.