Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cal Peters' Mural

This is one of the murals painted at Prairie du Chien by Cal Peters.  Click on it for a larger view. This image of it is from an old postcard in my possession.  The caption on the back says:  "Museum, Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  This mural portrays the history of Prairie du Chien from 1673 to 1900, presenting the men and events of major importance during that period.  The fugures were painted from prints and daguerreotypes."  I don't recognize many of the figures--Father Lucien Galtier to the far right, of course, next to the voyageurs and somewhat below him, Father Samuel Mazzuchelli.   Hercules Dousman is above the rifles in the foreground, and Joseph Rolette on the other side of the Native American.  I think Col. Zachary Taylor, commander of Fort Crawford and later US President is at the far left.

In about 1938, Cal Peters became the curator of the Prairie du Chien Museum, housed in what used to be a stable building on the grounds of the Villa Louis, the grand Victorian mansion built on St. Feriole Island by the son of Hercules and Jane Dousman--usually known as H. Louis.  The house was constructed on an old Indian mound so as to avoid being flooded by the Mississippi during the spring thaw.  In 1935, its upkeep proved too much for the Dousman family and the mansion was deeded to the city of Prairie du Chien.  The building and grounds are available for touring. Peters became a muralist of considerable note.

No comments:

Post a Comment