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(PHOTOS) Backstory: Sports mural in downtown Casper lighting store part of building’s long history

A mural inside Lighting Supply in downtown Casper date to 1992, and feature Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mike Deveraux, Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan, Cincinnati Reds left-handed pitcher Tom Browning, and Denver Broncos' legendary quarterback John Elway. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — It’s safe to assume that a mural covering two walls featuring four professional athletes wouldn’t be the first choice for an interior designer tasked with decorating a lighting supply store.

However, that’s exactly what you’ll see tucked away in the back corner of Lighting Supply in downtown Casper.

The small, three-story building at 128 N. Center St. has been home to Lighting Supply since 1994, according to Vickie Sprecher, who runs the company with her husband, Steve.

According to information Vickie has collected, the building was constructed in 1917 as the Court Hotel, one of what would eventually be a cluster of multiple hotels, bars and restaurants along the northern stretch of Center Street.

A vintage postcard from the 1930s shows the stretch of Center Street filled with hotels. The Townsend is at left and is now the Townsend Justice Center. At right is the Henning, Gladstone, Wyatt and Court Hotel. All except the Court have been demolished. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

Over the decades it evolved into a month-to-month apartment, housed an auto and housing supply store, and in 1962 became the first home to Bush-Wells Sporting Goods.

The murals date to 1992, and feature Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mike Devereaux, Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan, left-handed Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning, and legendary Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.

Two Casper natives, Devereaux and Browning, graced the murals with their signatures.

A mural inside Lighting Supply in downtown Casper dates to 1992 and features Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mike Devereaux, Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan, left-handed Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning, and legendary Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

According to Bush-Wells Sporting Goods’ current owner, Terry Nelson, the mural was made by one of their employees before they left the building.

“We had an artist there that started our screenprinting business for us,” he said.

The artist’s name was Drew Walter, said Nelson. “And then he went to work as an art teacher for the school district and now he’s moved on,” he said.

The paint was barely dry when Bush-Wells moved to the former Kal’s Delicatessen building at 500 S. Center St., where they have operated ever since.

Kal’s Delicatessen is seen in an undated photo during a parade. The building was also an early home to Frosty’s. Bush-Wells Sporting Goods has occupied the space since 1994. (Casper College, Western History Center)

“We wanted that building but they beat us to it,” said Sprecher. Lighting Supply had outgrown their first location in a small building across from the Peaches’ restaurant on 2nd Street, she said. After getting scooped by Bush-Wells on their first location choice, they decided to move into Bush-Wells’s old location, which, naturally, featured the mural.

“They wanted to take it, but they didn’t know how they could take it down without hurting it,” she said, “so then we inherited them and just kept them up.”

“We could’ve painted over them, but they’re kind of a conversation piece,” she said.

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mike Devereaux’s signature can be seen behind shelving at Lighting Supply. Devereaux was born in Casper and graduated from Kelly Walsh High School. Along with the Orioles, he played with the Dodgers, White Sox, Braves and Texas Rangers during his career. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)
Tom Browning was born in Casper, and in 1988 became the only Reds player to ever pitch a perfect game. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)
Lighting Supply’s building is seen center right, with the former Gladstone Hotel addition at left. The Wyatt Hotel, demolished in 1974, once stood between the two. Lighting Supply was originally the Court Hotel, and still features a ghost sign and its original brick façade. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)
A ghost sign graces the west side of the former Court Hotel, which Lighting Supply now occupies. A very faint Bush-Wells sign can still be seen. Bush-Wells Sporting Goods occupied the building from 1963 to 1994. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)


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