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Society pursuing 2 more downtown mural endeavors
train mural
Bulletin file photo This October 2018 photo shows muralist Dave Gordon, center, is surrounded by some of those that helped paint the Mossdale Crossing mural on the wall of The Spin Cycle in the 100 block of East Yosemite Avenue.

Mossdale Crossing is Now Open” celebrating the final segment to be completed of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 on the San Joaquin River was  the last mural added to downtown walls serving as canvases for Manteca’s signature public arts endeavor.

The pandemic sidetracked efforts to do the non-profit group’s 33rd mural.

Now there are two prospective mural project locations.

The Manteca Mural Society is working with Jeff Aksland to devise a mural for the two-story building on the southeast corner of Main Street and Yosemite Avenue that houses German Glass Werks and Aksland Real Estate.

Chris Teicheria — who is preparing to open The Deaf Puppy Comedy Club in the 100 block of North Main —  is also interested in adding a mural on that building’s high profile south-facing wall.

It was 20 years ago this June the first mural — “Crossroads” — was completed on the Main Street wall of Century Furniture.

That mural depicts a street scene in 1918 from the same angle one sees today looking west from the Main Street and Yosemite Avenue intersection.

Since then, 32 murals have been completed. That includes 25 outdoor wall murals in downtown and seven indoor murals at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane.

The last mural was the “Mossdale is Now Open” creation that graces the wall of the Spin Cycle in the 100 block of East Yosemite Ave.
While the much ballyhooed golden spike officially tying the Union Pacific and Central Pacific segments of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad was pounded into place at Promontory Summit in Utah on May 10, 1869, it wasn’t the last segment that was finished.

That actually occurred on Sept. 8, 1869 at Mossdale Crossing at a point just west of where Interstate 5 crosses the San Joaquin River today in Lathrop.

Before the bridge crossing was completed, it was not a true coast-to-coast railroad.

Once the bridge was finished, it tied two segments of the Union Pacific Railroad that allowed trains to continue onto San Francisco.

 Keeping such tidbits of local history alive is exactly one of the objectives of the mural society.

The aim is to celebrate Manteca by showcasing its history, industry, agriculture, people, and cultures.

The bottom line when the society was founded in 2002  — and still is today — is instilling  pride in Manteca residents as well as give visitors a sense of the community.


The work done so far that many consider as priceless, cost in excess of $750,000 collectively.

As such, it is the largest investment in public art in Manteca.

Eight of the murals, including the one depicting the final segment of the railroad, were community murals.

That means the muralist essentially create a “paint by the numbers” design. Then volunteers stepped up to paint the areas with the appropriate colors.

The society employs a competitive process among muralists that create conceptual designs based on the theme for a specific mural. The winning selection is awarded the mural contract.

Given walls aren’t smooth and often have issues such as holes, the first step in the physical mural work is prepping the walls.

North facing walls are considered prime locations due to the minimal sun and exposure to prevailing winds and rain. Next are eastern facing walls, followed by western facing walks, and then southern walls.

The more ideal the mural location the longer they can go before having to undergo restoration work as colors fade.

The society also has to address expensive vandalism — writing and such — on murals — that have occurred primarily at five murals at Library Park with most of the damage being done to the baseball mural.

Society President Ron Cruz, speaking before the Manteca Rotary Club on Thursday at Ernie’s Rendezvous Room, shared that his favorite mural project is the one that actually consists of five murals gracing the two-story wall of Manteca  Bedquarters at Main and Yosemite.

They are a series of murals honoring those who served in five wars — World War I, World II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Global War on Terror. Each mural is 16 feet by 20 feet.

Cruz noted muralist that have worked in almost every country around the globe have shared that they have never seen anything on the magnitude in terms of veterans being honored with murals that matches — or exceeds — Manteca’s efforts.

 The society is always looking for new members. For more information, go to


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email