On Monday, we posted the following photo and asked you to identify the location.
This one proved tricky…but hey, we don’t blame you for being stumped! The miner figure represents one minor (ha-ha) detail in this mural.
Even if you had guessed that it was located somewhere in Lead based on the city’s extensive mining past, you might be hard-pressed to identify its exact location. It’s part of the “Lead Me There” mural in Prospect Park, on the site of the former Old Lead Hospital on Main Street…and stop #3 on the Lead Urban Art Mural Project, a walking tour of Lead that features 19 murals painted over formerly blank walls and spaces throughout town.
“Lead Me There” is the work of local artist David Livingston, who is responsible for several of the murals in the project. Unveiled in 2019, his artwork—covering a 50′ x 10′ retaining wall—depicts not only Lead’s historical past, but its vibrant future, as well.
The mineshaft at the center of the mural seems to represent the dividing line between the town’s sleepy past and exciting future. The discovery of what would turn out to be one of the richest and longest-lasting gold strikes in history forever shaped Lead and its legacy endures, but with the ongoing Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) project taking place at the Sanford Underground Research Facility—the former site of the Homestake Gold Mine—science has moved to the forefront.
Livingston’s mural is a reminder of the progress that can be made even when a city’s former way of life comes to a halt, and that it’s possible to honor the past while embracing the future.