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Williams Historic Town Square getting new mural
For about a month now, John Ton — an artist from Petaluma — has been painting a mural on the wall of the old Masonic Temple in Williams.
Thanks to donations from within and outside the community, the wall that abuts the Williams Historic Town Square is getting the overhaul thatMayor Pat Ash and Citizens for a Better Williams have been talking about since 2011.
"For me, every day is Christmas morning because there is something new and awesome downtown," Ash said on Friday. "This is being completely funded by donations. We had a generous donation from a family who used to live in Williams and owned Williams Lumber for 40 years. That really helped get this going."
"We're still having donations come in," Ash said.
Ton estimates that, weather permitting, the project should take about two months to finish. The project would certainly be done by the end of December, he said.
Ton's mural will emphasize the town's historical roots, and will serve as an homage to the old Williams Hotel, which once stood where the park is at Seventh and E streets. The hotel burned down nearly a century ago and it was a hub for the city.
"People get excited about it. It's not political, it's not a challenge to their beliefs. ... It's just a little historical reminder of what this town came from," Ton said on Friday.
While he is working on painting bricks — a lot of bricks — onto the wall, he said that he had fun putting people into the mural. One of those people featured on the wall will be the town's namesake.
"We decided to add Mr. (William H.) Williams," Ton said, describing him as a portly man with a long beard, "He's going to be set up at the front door."
"Mural work, what I like about my job, is that its physical and mental," Ton said. "You use your right and left brain, It's social. And it's demanding in a lot of ways."
"There's a lot of responsibility. A lot of times, it's art by committee, but that is not the case here," Ton said of the Williams project, "There has been unanimous approval for this idea."