The "Prairie Tillers" Mural

© Photographed May 7, 2017
First painted 1980 by Artist Caryl Yasko; restored 2004
Whitewater, Jefferson County, Wisconsin
42.833313, -88.731417

The mural is located adjacent to a parking lot at 119 West Center Street, Whitewater, Wisconsin 53190.

Whitewater Arts Alliance: The Prairie Tillers Mural
In 1980, Caryl Yasko created a tribute to the Kettle Moraine. The elements of the mural celebrate the courage and perseverance of our city founders while respecting our unique Kettle Moraine geography with its rolling hills and prairies, and the native Americans who held this land sacred for centuries.

The figures on the right side of the mural depict three time periods in history: the tribal era, the early settlers and the people of the present - us - working hard to make history by turning the water wheel to extract the power to build a dream. The figures on the left represent future generations who will take and use what we have to continue the dream. These figures are unformed and undefined to remind us that the future can be shaped by us, by the decisions and choices we make today.
The large circle in the center of the composition represents a millwheel. Early Whitewater settlers depended on water power to mill lumber, paper and grain. The first such mill, built by Dr. Trippe in 1839, was in continual use until 1963 and eventually razed in 1972. The wheel is painted with decorative symbols of Whitewater's accomplishments in agriculture, education, tourism, retail business, manufacturing and milling. The Territorial Oak which still stands at the intersection of Franklin and Main, forms the center of the waterwheel. That great old Burr Oak is the tree from which Whitewater was originally surveyed. 
Other elements symbolize the land on which this town was built, the waving prairie from delicate spring to flaming autumn. Prairie violet, shooting stars, pasque flowers, blue lupine, prairie smoke, yellow coneflowers and prairie dock are some of the flowers depicted. The blazing colors of autumn merge into the flames of the annual prairie burnings and the historic fires of Whitewater. 
The foregoing content used with gracious permission of Whitewater Arts Alliance.

The mural is located in Whitewater, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.

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