Bull Durham Tobacco Wall Advertisement
Marker No: 18017
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 28° 39.937′ N, 97° 23.565′ W
Location: 316 South Commerical Street, Goliad
Marker Text: The town of Goliad began to grow in 1889 with the arrival of the locomotive. The railroads created the ability to receive larger supplies at a lower cost. Lumber, brick, stone and other materials that were formerly shipped by wagon were now available more cheaply and quickly. Two buildings built on the courthouse square during a period of tremendous growth around the turn of the century possess painted walls. The Stout-Pettus block (1894) boasts this Bull Durham ad and one other, and the W.W. Denham building (1900) exhibits identical front and rear signage. An additional extant painted wall advertisement in Goliad is on a small barn on the northeast corner of Oak and Jefferson Street.
At the end of the Civil War in Durham, North Carolina, tobacco farmer John Green partnered with W.T. Blackwell in forming the Bull Durham Tobacco Company. Salesmen then traveled the nation looking for advertising sites. After finding the town’s most prominent building, they would pay to have an ad painted on the side. The Bull Durham Tobacco ad, assumed to be painted between the years 1894 and 1900, was discovered in 2012 when the building owners removed sections of a damaged interior wall. The sheet rock was obscuring the exterior wall of the northern section of the Stout-Pettus commercial building. The ad was discovered to portray an 8 x 12 foot bull with letters reading, “Blackwell’s Bull Durham Tobacco has no equal.” Restoration work began on the mural including cleaning and repainting. The Goliad Bull Durham Tobacco advertisement is significant as a rare surviving early advertising example, not only in Texas, but nationwide. (2014)