100' Long by 23' High
Mules were introduced to this area in the late 1800’s, quickly replacing horses and oxen in the fields and woods. Horses were more expensive to feed than mules, which will eat almost anything. The oxen were too slow moving for the lumber industry and the farms, and were quickly replaced by mules. Mules, while considered more stubborn and meaner than horses and oxen, played an important part in the growth of farms and the logging industry in the Wiregrass region. Although considered mean and stubborn, they quickly became almost pets when treated right on a family farm.
Without mules, small farmers would have had a difficult time surviving. The family mule would plow the land, till the crops, and then haul the wagons when crops were harvested and taken to market. Between all this work, the mule would serve as the means of transportation for the family.
There were mule stables throughout the region where mules were sold and auctioned. As many as 500 mules were sold in one month by the Holman Mule Stable, which was located less than one block to the right from this mural.
The mule is sterile and is the result of the breeding of a horse by a jack. Jacks are a small version of the mule. The coming of the tractor replace the mule, and the mule trade stopped being a lucrative market. The mule today is used as a beast of burden by a few farms, mostly in mountain regions. But, it is still a companion and friend on some farms, and is also used as a show animal.
Although they are not as plentiful as they once were, the mules that do remain serve as a reminder of how important they were in the development of agriculture and industry in the early days of the Wiregrass region.