This article is presented in partnership with Dutch Country General Store.

In the last two years, Hannibal has seen an explosion of outdoor murals, depicting everything from famous Hannibalians to cold, frosty drinks across the city and especially in the downtown district. Dutch Country General Store, which carries a wide range of nostalgic and handmade products along with offering free ice cream to guests, is adding its mural to the mix in July 2021.

“Locally, it’s one more thing that shows how much pride we have in our city,” says Megan Rapp, assistant director of the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s taking what were blank walls and creating some beautiful art.”
One such wall, some 150 feet wide and 24 feet high, graces the side of Dutch Country General Store, and the owners commissioned muralist and native Missourian Ray Harvey for the mural.

“It just kind of all organically happened that we have this opportunity, this space for it,” says Diana Hill, Dutch Country General Store spokesperson, “and Ray was in town doing wonderful work and earning the trust of community leaders and citizens and drawing a lot of visitors to the area with his art.”

The general store’s mural depicts the American Midwest farmer as well as the Honor Flight program in the Grant Wood-style of rolling hills and pastures with a farmer and his wife saluting the Honor Flight as it passes overhead. The hook is the subtle flag worked into the farmland, Ray says. “It’ll be very Americana, just like Hannibal, America’s hometown.”

Ray has more than five hundred murals in his portfolio, and several of them grace buildings around the state, in Cuba, Missouri, another well-known mural city, and along Route 66. Now in the last two years in Hannibal and nearby, by the end of summer, he will have completed fourteen murals.

“There’s a buzz in Hannibal about these murals,” Ray says, and he gets a lot of encouragement from locals. They bring him drinks and lunch, but most often shoot him a thumbs up as he paints. “They come every day, like a pilgrimage, to see the progress on the mural.” When he was painting the city hall mural, he turned around and there were cars parked in the lot like they were watching a drive-in movie. He doesn’t mind the audience.

Dutch Country General Store owners and employees are thrilled to be part of the mural movement and make a statement with their very own mural art.

“Our Dutch Country vision was to pay homage to northeast Missouri’s agricultural heritage and then also to pay tribute to the veterans who have served and continue to serve our country,” Diana says. “Those two marry beautifully. That’s our history; that’s our country, what we were formed from and why we are still here. The reason we went this direction with the mural is that our company believes in offering products that are created using the highest quality, fresh, agricultural ingredients, which is also what this region is historically known for. The military connection is a tribute to those that have fought for the protection of freedoms that make America what it is.”

The Dutch Country General Store team has supported the Honor Flight financially since the owners became aware of it and have worked with other area groups like the North River Old Iron Club, a tractor club, to raise funds and awareness for the Great River Honor Flight.

“We want people to take a moment and think about the images they see in the mural,” Diana says. “We really want people to feel a personal connection and think back on being grateful for those that came before us and how we can honor their legacy.

“Beyond that personal moment of reflection, it draws you in and makes you think about art as a whole and public art and what someone has created on this wall that otherwise wouldn’t be very exciting to look at,” she adds.

The Dutch Country General Store mural joins more than twelve other murals in Hannibal. Some are full murals while four are what Megan calls “ghost signs.” They are reminiscent of vintage business advertisements and represent four businesses that had been in Hannibal at one time in the late 1800s or early 1900s.

The Dutch Country General Store mural work is set to begin mid-July and be complete in August.

For more information on Dutch Country General Store, visit