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Kettle Arcade Mural

Kettle Arcade Mural
Kettle Arcade Mural

Public Art: Kettle Arcade Mural

Artists: © Donald Harvey and Donald Gundlach

Commissioned: California Mural Company,  Evans & Brown 

Date Unveiled: 1988

Description: A history lesson on a ceiling. The Kettle Arcade Mural features all the colourful characters of Denver’s historical past, including Chief Hosa (Little Raven), General William Larimer, Soapy Smith (resident con man),  Mayor Robert Speer, and Annie Oakley (who just passed through).

Little Raven (1810 — 1889), the chief of the Southern Arapahoes is depicted standing on a cloud with his arms held up in welcoming gesture.  The chief initially welcomed the white settlers who were in search of gold. However, over time patience wore thin.

General William H. Larimer (October 24, 1809 – May 16, 1875) who founded Denver is depicted in his Yankee uniform sitting on steps beside a log cabin. At his feet is an upturned barrel, with water and gold flowing. A surveyors theodolite on a tripod is to his right.

The legendary con man Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith (November 2, 1860 – July 8, 1898) and Mayor Robert Speer (December 1, 1855 – May 14, 1918) are depicted in the same scene. Which, considering Soapy’s background in meddling with government officials, is quite ironic. Soapy among other things was a gangster, gambler and con man. You can read more about him on the Denver Town Hall Bell Page. A standing Soapy is depicted playing a squeezebox with his body facing away. He is wearing his well-known hat and neck scarf. Seated beside him is the jovial Mayor Robert Speer who was instrumental in developing parts and urban development.

Annie Oakley (August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926) is depicted riding with two stallions, with a foot on each of their backs. She holds the 32-star American flag in her right hand and a gun in her left.

Location: The Kettle Arcade Mural can be found on the ceiling of Kettle Arcade



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