The City of Portsmouth, Ohio has had several disastrous floods since it was plated in 1803. Indeed, the city was born out of necessity Portsmouth, Ohio was always a river community, whose economy and sense of place was tied so intricately to the mighty Ohio River. The 1937 Flood fundamentally was by all accounts a disaster of monstrous proportions. In 1943 a flood wall was constructed and has protected well.
An approximately 20 feet high by 2,000 feet long wall was constructed between the main portion of the area’s riverfront and Front Street in downtown Portsmouth. The wall has stood mostly untested, save for perhaps less than a half dozen occurrences when the defenses floodgates have been raised. Then in 1992 Dr. Lou Chaboudy and wife Ava, hosting a AAA group to Steubenville, Ohio saw their murals, and there the idea was born. Portsmouth's own flood wall has protected us well but was an eyesore. It would be the perfect place for murals. In 1993 muralist Robert Dafford started the first mural. Now there are over 55 murals depicting the 2,000 year history of the Ohio River Valley.
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