Downtown Anaheim's Art in Public Places Tour
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 21   Mosaic Mural

Millard Sheets


The colorful history of Anaheim is depicted in a mosaic mural decorating the former Home Savings & Loan Association building (now Washington Mutual). Nationally recognized artist, Millard C. Sheets was commissioned by Home Savings & Loan Association to create murals at their branches throughout California.

The Byzantine and Venetian glass mural, executed by Nancy Colbath, includes important figures and episodes in Anaheim's past. Surveyor George Hansen, known as the "Father of Anaheim" is portrayed as a key figure in the history of the City. He mapped the original boundaries of Anaheim: North, South, East, and West Streets, which were then marked by stockades. This was one of the first cities in the area to have set boundaries, and remain the boundaries of the Anaheim Historic Colony District.

Anaheim had its own Chinatown. Some Chinese immigrants worked in the vineyards and may be seen in the mosaic making wine. When a blight attacked the vineyards and destroyed the grapes, farmers turned to oranges as their mainstay and hope for the future. Orange trees were also included in the design by Millard C. Sheets. As nearby cities developed, they too depended on the orange crop, and the surrounding area became known as Orange County.

Other pioneer scenes in the mosaic show the wedding of Mr. & Mrs. Atherton - owners of an ostrich farm; and Mr. Fred Rimpau, a fireman, representing the first volunteer fire brigade.

A major figure in the mural is Madame Ana Modjeska, a great actress who made her home in what is now known as Modjeska Canyon, where it may still be seen. Madame Modjeska was responsible for attracting cultural interest to Anaheim. Today a theatre group is named for her - the Ana Modjeska Players.