Post Office Mural-Wright Brothers Flight

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Address: 121 E. Main Street, Williamston, NC 27892

Latitude/Longitude: 35.855190, -77.054093

Phone: (252) 792-2636

Pricing: Free


In the Great Depression as part of the New Deal, artists painted murals in post offices all over North Carolina. Some have been destroyed or lost, luckily over twenty remain on the walls of these old post offices.

The small town of Williamston in eastern North Carolina has a wonderful old post office built in the late 1930’s. It also has a special oil-on-canvas mural on the west wall painted by Phillip Von Saltza in 1940. Mr. Von Saltza entered a contest with 1,475 entrants for the job of painting this mural. Von Saltza was an accomplished artist and he received the commission to paint these murals, funded by the federal government.

Von Saltza was paid $725 to paint this mural in Williamston and for that time during the depression this was considered a lot of money. He did other buildings and his idea for Williamston was to paint a May pole scene; that idea was not well received. The Wright Brothers was a much better topic, considering that the First Flight happened only a hundred miles away at Kitty Hawk – you can still feel the excitement.

This art on the wall is very accessible, it’s free and it’s right there for all of us to see.

From the Author: Wilbur and Orville Wright have been staring at the plane on the wall of this old post office in the little town of Williamston for as long as I can remember. It is amazing that this wonderful art is still on the wall and that this building is still here. Even more amazing is that it is still a post office.

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