Fresco is a technique of painting, specifically murals, on freshly laid plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the pigment and, with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall.
A Fresco mural has been painted in the Rockford Methodist Church - a Gothic Revival frame building constructed in 1914. The church was closed in 1967 but since 1984, the Rockford Preservation Society, Inc. has been restoring the building. In 1989, they commissioned North Carolina born yet classically trained painter, Tony Griffin, to paint the fresco “Come Unto Me” behind the altar. As a youth, Tony Griffin lived in Italy and was a young apprentice with Italian fresco artist Ben Long.
The Rockford Methodist Church now serves as a community center and has special candlelight Christmas and Memorial Day services. Other properties maintained by the Rockford Preservation Society include the 1830 Mark York Tavern, the 1900 Rockford Post Office, the 1850 Dudley Glass Store (now the Davenport Gallery), the c.1800 Rockford Masonic Lodge, and the site of the c.1796 Grant-Burrus Hotel (now Rockford Park). The Society’s website is www.rememberrockford.com
This site, a part of the “Geocaching for History” program, was researched and placed by the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina Foundation and the North Carolina Humanities Council. The goal of this program is to encourage physical activity and exploration of the history of our community.