New mural offers greetings from New Philadelphia

New mural offers greetings from New Philadelphia

Image Credit: Teri Stein

An interest in watching Home and Garden TV is leading to a new mural in downtown New Philadelphia. The mural will be based on an old-time postcard.

“They were doing similar-type murals in downtown Laurel, Mississippi, and I thought that would be really cool in downtown New Philadelphia,” Matt Fantin of New Philadelphia said. “It will say greetings from — in this case it would be greetings from New Philadelphia.”

Fantin has partnered with Gayle Ross of the Juniper Gift Shop and Erika Hull of the CornHer Office to raise funds for the project. Artist Sarah Dugger is designing the mural, which will be placed underneath the Schoenbrunn 250th mural on the West High Avenue building housing The Eye Doctors.

Dugger has a lot to work with as the group plans to include images of iconic symbols in the city like the courthouse, Welcome to Our City sign, Tuscora Park, and iconic homes and church steeples.

There are not many of the postcard murals in Ohio, and they have a following.

“When we first started talking about this, someone had mentioned people go on tours hunting for the murals,” Fantin said. “It actually brings tourism into areas. People want to get their picture taken in front of these, and they put them out on Instagram and Facebook. It’s kind of a neat calling card for a city to have one of these.”

Once the mural is complete, the group will apply to have it listed on the website at, which lists “greetings from” murals from all over the United States.

Other cities in Ohio that have the “greetings from” murals include Canton, Cleveland, Sandusky, Springfield and Euclid.

In 2021 New Philadelphia was included on a national list of small cities you must visit, and the group hopes by adding the postcard mural it will only increase interest in the area.

“This would be a really great opportunity to bring more people into our city,” Fantin said.

Of utmost importance is community support for the project. The amount budgeted to complete the mural is $7,000.

“Our hope is to use as many local businesses as we possibly can. With Sarah Dugger being a local and nationally known artist, we thought that would be a great place to start,” Hall said.

The influence of Fantin’s mother, the late Fran Fantin, has been felt throughout the planning process. Ross said it all started with her late friend.

“I swear through this whole process she’s made her presence known. And it’s just kind of cool. To me, that means a lot,” Ross said. “She was all about community. She loved this town. And it’s what we’re doing it for. It’s a gift to the community.”

Matt Fantin had called Ross to ask for her assistance with the project, and the two kept getting signs that they should proceed. Fran Fantin’s influence also was felt when Hall walked in to ask Ross, after plans were already in the works, if she’d ever thought of doing a mural across the street.

“My mom was very community oriented. She was on numerous community boards, and I just kind of feel her guiding us through this whole thing,” Fantin said.

Fantin also complimented others who have been working to improve the city. “There are a lot of people putting a lot of money and effort and sweat equity into making New Philadelphia a prime location for business, for having your family, for raising your family and growing up. We have so many benefits living here right now. We want to bring people to our town to have a wonderful time. And I think you can’t do any better than that.”

The group feels the murals bring life to the city.

“It catches your eye. It brings people. They stop and take a picture,” Hull said.

The group hopes to have the new postcard-style mural completed by Memorial Day weekend, but they need help. Anyone who would like to donate may contribute at First Federal Community Bank to the “Greetings from New Philadelphia” account.

Call Ross at 330-401-8840, stop by the Juniper Gift Boutique at 172 W. High Ave. in New Philadelphia or email

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