Another famous mural by Howard Tharpe adorns Cottage Grove’s All America Park in downtown. The “Opal Whiteley mural” was a collaboration with artist Connie Huston, memorializing the significant culture and history of Cottage Grove.
Thorpe painted Opal Whiteley in the middle, the notable Cottage Grove resident in the late 1800s, considered by some a child prodigy, and by others, a fraud. Her controversial life inspired the book “The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow” by author Benjamin Hoff. Regardless, her story is touching, tragic and memorable. As a lover of nature, her connection with plants and animals is illustrated by fluttering butterflies around her. One butterfly on the mural makes a perfect selfie-backdrop if you want to stand in front of it and have wings!