City of Ottawa, Illinois

This summer, international muralist and former Illinois native, John Pugh will paint Ottawa’s tenth mural on the historic Central Life Building at 628 Columbus St., Ottawa. 

Its theme focuses on Ottawa’s early beginnings, its’ crazy speakeasy days, and the sad story of our Radium Dial girls.  To see John Pugh’s amazing 3-D artwork go to his Facebook page Art of John Pugh or his website

Total cost of this mural is projected to be $66,000, of which over $20,000 still needs to be raised.  “We need every citizen’s help,” according to spokesperson Peg Breslin.  “If everyone chips in a little bit that would get us over the top.”

The Mural Committee is partnering with the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation (SRCCF) to raise money.  Those interested in donating can write a check to SRCCF and designate a brush with history in the memo line; drop off or mail checks to SRCCF’s office at 718 Columbus St., Ottawa.

One can also make a donation simply by going to the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation’s website at  Under the heading “For Donors” …a brush with history is listed.  Clicking on this link will bring you to the donation page.  Links can also be found on our Facebook page, “Ottawa’s a brush with history.

“Whether you can give $500 or $5 it all helps reach our goal and it’s a great way to be able to say you own a piece of this mural”, Breslin said.  “That’s always a good feeling.”