This mural along the Pinellas Trail takes a look back at the history of the rail to trail. The Clearwater area used to be home to many citrus groves, and a narrow gauge railroad built by Henry Plant. The Pinellas Trail is on the right of way of a few former railroads, the former Orange Belt Railway (which was a narrow gauge line) and then later Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from Tarpon Springs to Clearwater, which was a standard gauge conversion on the same ROW, then it was home to the former Tampa and Gulf Coast Railroad (later Seaboard Air Line Railroad) from Clearwater to St. Petersburg.
Our mural for the City of Clearwater takes a look at the past and current uses of the trail, and provides clues throughout that tell the history of Clearwater, such as orange blossoms and oranges. There is also a connection between the establishment of the Orange Belt railway, it was established in 1885. This is the exact year the "safety bike" was invented, which was an invention that made the future use of the trail possible.
As a nod to J. Cole, we titled this piece, 100 years before J. Cole, because we were listening to KOD quite a bit while painting it, and because of the significance of the year 1885 in the mural. In J. Cole's album, KOD, the song 1985 talks about his birth year, and the evolution of hip hop music, all around us things are changing but sustainable change always grows from roots of authenticity.
Learn about the Orange Belt Railroad »