7.Coal Mining Era Mural
HISTORY BEHIND THE MURAL
Coal mining was a big industry in Gallup
from the 1880s through the 1950s. Mining
jobs drew workers from across the nation and
around the world. Wages were good and housing
was often provided. Over time 57 mines in
the Gallup area provided coal to the railroad
and to industry.
The first coal miners’ strike was in 1917.
Coal mining had peaked. Demand declined
over the next twelve years and by the great
depression half of Gallup’s coal miners were
out of work. During the 1933 strike martial
law was declared.
The 1935 Gallup Riot took place along this
alley. An unemployed union miner had been
evicted from his home in Chihuahuita. He and
another miner were arraigned. As one prisoner
was being returned to jail, a gun went off
causing a riot. Three persons were killed. Ten
suspects, scapegoated as radicals, endured a
lengthy trial. All were acquitted or pardoned,
but many were deported.
Community members who guided the
development of this mural are: Chris and Jennie
Lee DiGregorio, Marc DePauli, Jennifer
Boots Marshall, and Joe Zecca.
Andrew Butler, muralist, wrestles with the
three primary colors until he has created
a complex spatial surface that satisfies his
high standards for both communication and
abstract principle. He is a well-known artist
in Gallup whose first one man-show was at
Crashing Thunder Gallery in 1993. More of
Andrew’s work can be seen at Gallup Vision
Source, Coal Street Pub, Lexington Hotel and