The Williams Hotel was used as the backdrop for many old time photographs; it now will be a permanent backdrop along the North wall of the Williams Masonic Building in downtown Williams, at Town Square.
“The Williams Hotel used to stand at the corner of ‘E’ Street and 7th Street,” said Williams Mayor, Pat Ash.
The Williams Hotel was the hub of activity for over fifty years: “The Citizens for a Better Williams felt it was appropriate for the mural to be painted at Town Square Park” said Ash.
Built in 1877, the Williams Hotel was one of the first businesses in Williams and established as a common rest stop for the hot spring travelers, getting off the train before making their way up to the mountains.
Before the Williams Hotel caught fire in 1923, it housed an ice cream parlor, real estate office, grain office, millinery shop, post office, newspaper office, and offices of H.D. Lynch and Marguerita Williams Welch and boasted a dining room that could hold 150 people.
In April of 2011, the Citizens for a Better Williams gave a fresh coat of paint to the Masonic Building, and during that time the group started the process to have a mural painted.
“Little did I know that just three years later, I would own the building,” said Ash, “it has made things a lot easier.”
The organization is still seeking donations to complete the funding for the project.
According to City Code, any murals must be approved by the City Planning Committee.
“When I took the idea to the Planning Committee, they were excited about the project,” said Ash, “ and when I showed them the artists’ rendering of the mural it passed with no objections.”
At a cost of $15,000 the Citizens for a Better Williams hired renowned Petaluma California mural artist, John Ton.
John Ton has made his living as a mural artist and sign designer for over 40 years. John is known for his work in Reno Nevada (The Alice Ramsey Mural), and several murals in Petaluma and Santa Cruz California.
The Citizens for a Better Williams have raised a portion of the funds through its Strawberry Shortcake Sales at the Williams Concert in the Park series, Book Sales of Ash’s “Images of America: Williams” book, and a large private donation.
The mural artist has already begun work on the project and is estimated to take about two months to complete, and progress is quickly being made.
“I want to make it clear that the mural project is completely funded by the Citizens for a Better Williams,” said Ash.
All funds donated to the Citizens for a Better Williams are a tax deductible donation, and all funds raised by the group are put back towards the community.
“We are helping raise the quality of life in Williams,” said Ash.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help with the remaining costs of the mural project, please send your donation to: Citizens for a Better Williams, PO Box 703, Williams, Ca 95987.
Donation forms are also available at New Attitude Salon, located at 530 7th Street, in Downtown Williams. K