By Mina Corpuz
GROTON -- A large 19-century mural shows a person donning a top hat guiding a single-sailed boat through a calm New England lake framed by trees. Another shows a stately white home lined with windows overlooking a garden.
The two works of art that currently reside in the historic Prescott House will soon find a new home at the Groton Inn.
A joint effort by the Groton Historical Society, Groton Inn, and Indian Hill Music School aims to save the murals.
The school, which bought the property where the house sits, gifted the murals to the historical society. In turn, the historical society will loan the murals to the inn to display.
"We think it's a win-win for the town to save something important and make it accessible," said Susan Randazzo, ececutive director of Indian Hill Music.
The murals were painted by Jonathan D. Poor.
The historical society is applying for a $25,000 community preservation grant to have the murals stabilized, removed from the Prescott House, and moved to the Inn, said Bobbie Spiegelman, president of the historical society. If the funding is approved at Town Meeting in April, work to relocate the murals could begin in the summer, she said.
It will be at least a year before they come to the inn, said Waddy Francis, general manager of the establishment. In the meantime, there will be professional photos of the murals displayed, he said.
The larger mural, which is about 7 feet wide by 5 feet high, will sit in the lobby, Francis said. The smaller one will be in the art gallery.
As an homage to the artwork, Francis said, images from the mural -- a tree, boat, and an island -- were incorporated into the inn's new logo.
Fundraising for the mural project is underway, Spiegelman said. The historical society hosted a talk with Groton native Steve Kornacki, a political correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, in January to raise money for the project.
So far, the historical society has raised $5,000, she said.
Spiegelman said giving the murals a new home will save a part of town history and bring it into the present day.
"To preserve them is something that is part of our heritage and also recognizes the local artists and artisans in the area," she said. "We see this as the first big step into that project of recognizing these talented people."