Mural to provide ambiance at Bethany museum

A mural representing the historical Bethany Beach may soon adorn the town’s museum. The decorative element is one of the final pieces of the puzzle as the renovated and renewed museum settles in to its location in the renovated town hall lobby.

Vice-Mayor Carol Olmstead, who chairs the town’s Cultural and Historical Affairs Committee (CHAC), announced to the committee at their Jan. 23 meeting that she had received a second preliminary sketch from the artist who would create the mural. The finished design would decorate the archway above the museum.

As presented to CHAC, the new design would feature a map of Bethany Beach’s downtown area, surrounded by artist’s renderings of some of the town’s historical homes. Committee members were given the task of considering which of the homes — both those present today and those already relegated to memory — would be depicted.

Once the mural design is approved, it will be created with a method that would allow it to be applied to the wall as wallpaper would be, Olmstead noted.

One of the other puzzle pieces falling into place for the museum is the long-anticipated museum kiosk that will contain a computer housing a variety of items that could not otherwise be displayed at the location. The kiosk was due to be installed Thursday by museum-installation company Lynch Industries, which installed the museum’s showcases and displays last year.

Olmstead said a number of photographs had already been categorized for later scanning and eventual display on the kiosk. She said she hoped the kiosk and mural would be in place and in full working order by the end of May, in time for the resort’s summer season.

Additionally, the committee is slowly, but surely, moving a little closer to getting its oral-history project under way.

Olmstead offered committee members a final draft of a letter from the committee to a number of residents and former residents of Bethany Beach, asking them to send in their written recollections of life in the town. The written accounts will, they hope, serve to aid the committee in deciding additional sources to interview, as well as providing some written accounts to help preserve the town’s heritage.

The committee members are also looking to contact some at the top of their interview list in the near future, with plans to begin recording the interviews as soon as possible. The contacts are also a further step for the group in gathering donations and loans of artifacts from the town’s history.

Committee members discussed plans to place historical plaques at the sites of some of the town’s historical homes (past and present) and other historical features. A variety of styles and features for the plaques were discussed, and committee members plan to review a list of possible locations before contacting individual property owners for their permission to place the plaques at the locations.

On two side notes, Olmstead commented that new landscaping for the Loop Canal was on the top of the town’s current horticultural work list, and committee members expressed pleasure with the design of a new home being constructed on the former site of Drexler West — the demolition of which they had lamented at many a previous meeting. They said the new structure was strikingly similar to the old in its style.