It started out rather innocently. The red garage behind the Flowers in the Kitchen restaurant in downtown Elizabethtown needed painting.
But instead of simply painting the barnlike structure red again, restaurant owner Jim Flowers hired local artist Wayne Fettro to make a unique creation, advertising the restaurant while being astethically pleasing at the same time. Fettro's creation surpassed everyone's expectations.
Using an overhead projector to project his pattern onto the side of the building, Fettro spent a few weeks working evenings and weekends to create a design featuring flowers, etc. The artwork attracted the attention of the local weekly newspaper which published a front page story about the creation. Pretty soon, townspeople were driving down the alley behind the restaurant just to see the artwork.
Other local businesses decided that free publicity like this could only be good for sales and contacted Fettrow to create a design for them. Suddenly, his designs started appearing all over town highlighting the town's past while beautifying it at the same time.
Town officials, recognizing a good thing when they saw it, decided a mural program would be the perfect vehicle to help rehabilitate the business district and generate word-of-mouth buzz about E-town's downtown.
The 'Elizabethtown Mural Program' was developed through a partnership the town, its economic development corporation and the state Council on the Arts. A special downtown development office administers a grant program for other buildings in the downtown area. A committee reviews any new designs and awards up to $2000 for plans that pass muster.
Since that first mural in 1998, several more murals decorate downtown Elizabethtown's main street and two more are located outside of the town limits.
- American Legion Post 329 - Created by Fettro, this mural is dedicated to those who served in the US military and those who died in their military service. It is on the wall of the American Legion, Conewago Post 329, located at 240 North Hanover Street.
- Peach Alley Court's Lobby - Another Fettro creation, this mural in the lobby of an apartment building which once housed the AS Kreider Shoe Company in the early 1900s. Peach Alley Court Apartments are located at 155 South Poplar Street.
- Four Centuries of History - This mural on the side of Cutting Edge Media at 29 South Market Street, depicts four periods in E-town's past - the town's Native American heritage, the day the Liberty Bell visited on a railroad tour of the US, the opening of Groff's Meats delivery service and the opening of Cutting Edge Media.
- Flowers in the Kitchen - This mural by Fettro promotes a local restaurant on a garage to the rear of the restaurant's property. It can be seen on the red garage in the first block of Peach Alley.
- Elizabethtown College Centennial - Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Elizabethtown College, this Fettro mural depicts some important events in the history of the town's college. It is located on the corner of the Rice and Rice Ltd building at the corner of South Market Street and College Avenue.
- Tony's Restaurant - Painted on the Harris Savings Bank building in the first block of South Market Street, this mural shows the building's past when it was popular local eatery Tony's Restaurant during the 1940s and '50s.
- Bicycle Outfitters - Fettro painted this small mural on the side of Bicycle Outfitters on South Market Street depicting a cyclist crossing the finish line.
- English Brothers - Located on the side of the beer distributor, Engish Brothers along state Route 743 north of E-town, this Fettro mural celebrates the founding of the business in 1946 by John and Frank English.
- Harvesttime in the 1920s - Painted on the side of a barn along a road outside of town, this Fettro creation depicts an old-time steam tractor and some of the region's farming history.