Cattle Drive Down Marion Avenue

Year
2007

Artist
Michael Vires

Location
Attorney Rooney’s Building, 306 E. Olympia Ave. Corner of E. Olympia & Wood Street

Size
20′ x 40′

Mural Creation Sponsors
Barbara Galvin

This mural pays tribute to the cattle breed which is still being raised on today’s modern Florida cattle ranches. Known as Cracker Cattle, these cattle were brought to Florida almost 500 years ago by the Spanish.

This mural also brings attention to the Cow Hunters and the breed of horses and dogs they used in finding, rounding up and managing the cattle. These rugged men were not called Cowboys and were as at home in the saddle as anywhere else. They were known to be independent, poorly educated, cunning, and of unkempt appearance. They were experts at using a whip. They never hit the cattle with the whip but used it to keep the herd together by cracking the whip next to the ear of a cow which would allow them to maintain control of the herd. And thus the native Floridian name “Cracker” was born.

The mural depicts Cow Hunters moving cattle out West Marion Avenue in about 1903. Two oval cameo scenes show the cattle being held in pens and finally being moved through a single chute to be loaded on schooners (later steamboats) where they later were shipped to Cuba.

Last but not least, the mural pays respect to five well known Florida Cow Hunters. Their head shapes have been fittingly placed in the clouds. From left to right their names are: Belford Goff, Corrie Guess, Rob Walker, Pat Johnson, and Charlie Slaughter.

The mural was dedicated on June 21, 2007.