In recent years, residents of Sussex initiated a mural project that involves contributions from artists all over the world painting historic scenes on the side of the downtown buildings, depicting various aspects of life in this small town. Partially in answer to the denuding of the town caused by the loss of its majestic old trees due to Dutch Elm disease, this project has really helped to spruce the place up. This scene covers one wall of what used to be the single largest store in town - the Mercantile building. Since this street is the start of Church Avenue, the mural depicts a Victorian mansion scene such as you will find further up the avenue if you continue onward. In its heyday, the Mercantile building sold just about everything, in those days before shopping malls were invented. With the arrival of a shopping mall in the centre of town and subsequent development of an even larger one at the western end of Sussex, the Mercantile store gave way and the building now houses many small shops and boutiques. If you are driving around the town, keep your eyes open for the many other murals scattered here and there.
The 2nd photo is a closer view of the same mural, with Sue standing at the left side, during a guided 'mural tour' as part of the amusements during the June, 2007 celebration of the 40th anniversary since my classmates (in the photo) and I graduated from Sussex High School. The scene is in remembrance of a British officer who fought in the 1853-56 Crimean War and then returned to Sussex to build the depicted Victorian mansion further up the street.
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Sulphurous water Fountain
Near the top of Church Avenue sits an old water fountain that has been there as long as I can remember. The story was that a drink of its waters would bring you good health and that was a good thing, because you certainly were not drinking the sulphur-smelling water for its taste! Another legend was that the source of this water was somehow used in the manufacture of the unique Sussex Golden Ginger Ale at their plant not too far distant from the fountain.
I do not know what the true situation is, but massive deposits of potash were found in and around the Sussex area in the 1970s, leading to the development of two underground mines (one of which had to be subsequently closed when it was flooded by accident after hitting an underground aquafer). Maybe the fountains waters are bubbling up from some other strange mineral formation!
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