The Heritage Mural and The Blackwell Foyer

A Walking Tour of Mars Hill University

The Heritage Mural and The Blackwell Foyer

Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754, United States

Created By: Mars Hill University


A particular unique feature of Blackwell Hall is a three-story ceramic mural that depicts traditional Appalachian household and farming implements. Designed and created by Mars Hill College alumni Douglas Ferguson, visitors see the Heritage Mural if they enter from the main entrance on first floor. Mr. Ferguson, Mars Hill College class of 1933, went on to open Pigeon Forge pottery with his father-in-law after serving in the U.S. Army at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Ferguson would go on to become a celebrated ceramist, which is well deserved if one studies his Tree of Heritage. This piece includes pioneer artifacts from Ferguson’s mountain home inside the first floor foyer of Blackwell Hall and farm implements on the outside portion of the piece. The 1856 college building stands between the two sections of the piece.

Inside the foyer of Blackwell Hall, one can find another work of art created by Mr. Ferguson for Mars Hill. On the walls is a ceramic mural of traditional Appalachian quilt patterns. This piece previously adorned the fountain located on the Historic Quad but was moved to Blackwell Hall upon the renovation of the fountain.

Also inside the Blackwell Hall foyer is a model of the Mars Hill College circa 1910. Created by Douglas Mackenzie of Marshall, this model was a gift from the Class of 1956 in celebration of their 50th reunion and the school's sesquicentennial. We invite you to notice some of the sites in the model that are still on campus, including Founders Hall and the Moore Pin Oak.

This point of interest is part of the tour: A Walking Tour of Mars Hill University


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