Washington State Magazine

Summer 2014

Summer 2014

State of Wonder

In This Issue...


State of Wonder—Growing up in a state that fosters belonging :: A childhood spent in Washington has never been better. Our abundant natural resources, our trove of teachers and volunteers, and our commitment to child development make this a great state to grow up in. by Hannelore Sudermann

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Story: A storybook story The Inga Kromann children’s book award }

Machine in the Classroom—New tech tools engage young scientists :: Teaching with new technology may involve a microscope app for an iPad or an affordable circuit board for a budding engineer. School children have some exciting new tools with which to conduct experiments and explore their worlds, but now teachers have to decide how to use them. by Larry Clark ’94

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Focus Microscope Camera captures the world beyond the eye’s reach }

Lost Highway—John Mullan closed the last link of the Northwest Passage and vanished from history—until now :: More than 150 years ago, a contingent of road builders and a military escort set out on a rugged pilgrimage to build a wagon highway across the Rocky Mountains and into the west. Historian Keith Petersen ’73 has traced the tumultuous life of the lead engineer John Mullan and, in the process, uncovered some fascinating facts about what is now known as Mullan Road. by Eric Sorensen

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Story: Mullan Road Monuments by Keith Petersen }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: Gustav Sohon’s illustrations of the Mullan Road and the West }


:: Charting the course of a globe-trotting pathogen

:: Sex, drugs, and differences

:: The time in between

:: Consider the dragon

:: A matter of taste

:: The scoop on Ferdinand’s murals

:: 100 years of the Bookie

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: A century of the Bookie }


:: First Words

:: Posts

:: In Season: Salmon

:: Sports: Summer spikes

:: Last Words: Ask Dr. Universe


:: Tom Norwalk ’75—Visit Seattle

:: Tim Hills ’93—Hotels and history

:: Cori Dantini ’93—Art and whimsy

:: Allison Helfen ’89—A crush on local wine

:: Alumni news: Lewis Alumni Centre “re-barn”

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—List: Seattle sites you may not have visited }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Book excerpt: The Many Lives of the Crystal Ballroom }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: The Lewis Alumni Centre Story }

New Media

:: The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern Japan by W. Puck Brecher

:: Hunger Immortal: The First Thirty Years of the West Seattle Food Bank, 1983–2013 by Ronald F. Marshall ’71

:: Legal Guide to Social Media: Rights and Risks for Businesses and Entrepreneurs by Kimberly A. Houser

:: New & Noteworthy: Kierkegaard for the Church: Essays and Sermons by Ronald F. Marshall ’71; The Whiskey Creek Water Company by Jan Walker ’60; Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer’s edited by Collin Tong; Teeing Up for Success Cheri Brennan ’72, contributor; So This Is Christmas by Jim Devitt ’86

On the cover: Milky Way galaxy over Mount Rainier from Sunrise Point—meteorites show up as streaks of light. This image was a winner in Smithsonian magazine’s 10th annual photo contest. Photo by Dave Morrow. See the entire image.

The first Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Troy Hall with its original murals featuring images from the popular children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. <em>Courtesy WSU Creamery</em>


The first Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Troy Hall with its original murals featuring images from the popular children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. Courtesy WSU Creamery

The scoop on Ferdinand’s murals

by | © Washington State University

Visible clouds of breath hang about as we all look upon what remains of the original murals of the Ferdinand’s ice cream shop once located in the now deserted Troy Hall.

The first home of the dairy department, Troy is in the middle of campus and in poor condition. Roped off for safety, this 1920s brick structure has been on the University’s capital planning list for renovation for a few years now. It is currently in the design stage of what is expected to be a $40 million renovation so that it can be a suitable home for environmental sciences and chemistry.

As rotting bits of ceiling hang above us and more pieces are scattered on the floor, our small group has a rare opportunity to explore the empty halls and rooms. Some of the project’s planners and designers and I start our tour in the first-floor room where Ferdinand’s opened in the 1940s, and where a few rare glimpses of the first Ferdinand murals can be found.

We can see disoriented patches of images straight from the children’s book illustrations of The Story of Ferdinand.

Simply painted in brown and white, an image of a baby bull named Ferdinand and a bit of text on a teal blue background peeks out from one wall. Several emails, phone calls, and a look into the University’s archives suggest that in 1951–1952 physical plant painter Steve Allured crafted the murals after the name Ferdinand’s was given to the shop.

Three of the four walls were once covered with the murals, but then they were all but erased thanks to a remodel of Troy Hall during 1970–1973. According to Marc Bates, who managed the creamery from 1974 to 2000, “parts of that remodel caused new pipes and conduits to be routed through the ceiling area of Ferdinand’s, causing damage to the original mural.”

To mask the damages, a false ceiling was built, which then covered more of the murals. Rich Brim ’77 took photographs of what remained the original murals before they were nearly covered over with further improvements. Those images were the inspiration for yet another painter to transfer the story onto the pieces of five large panels of plywood.

Putting the paintings on panels made it easier to clean and manage the walls in the small shop in Troy. They served their purpose into the early 1990s. But when Ferdinand’s moved from Troy Hall to the Food Quality Building in May of 1992, there was no room for them. Instead, an even smaller, newer version of the Ferdinand story was put up.

And the striking plywood paintings were stashed away. But not forever.

In 2000, the current manager of the creamery found the panels in the basement of the Food Quality Building. “I thought it would be a real waste for people not to see them,” says Russ Salvadalena. “Then three of four years ago as I was walking past the Food Science office I noticed these big empty spaces on the walls. So I talked to the School of Food Science and asked them if we could put the panels up there.”

It took a few years and some convincing, but the panels were eventually taken from storage for cleaning and restoration and placed back into public view. Though the painter of the second set of murals is still a mystery, Bates believes that the artists’ name might be on the back of one of the panels that now dominate the walls of the main stairwell in the west part of the Food Science building.

Now, when people stop by Ferdinand’s to sample the creamery’s newest flavors of ice cream, they can also slip around the corner and into the main hall of Food Science building for a taste of the past.

Categories: Campus life, WSU history | Tags: Ferdinand's, Buildings, Mural

Comments are temporarily unavailable while we perform some maintenance to reduce spam messages. If you have comments about this article, please send them to us by email: wsm@wsu.edu