Floodwall Mural Project planning stages began at around 1992 with Portsmouth Murals, Inc. formation. Its formation purposely aimed at depicting the history of this particular land of Portsmouth, actually this created among the existing world largest known mural projects. The floodwall part section included in the entire project is twenty feet high and also made to extend along the Front Street 2200 feet in downtown Portsmouth. 

With the help of the popular artist, Robert Dafford, a 2000 foot concrete block flood wall that is located along Portsmouth’s Ohio River has been turned to be an outdoor art gallery that clearly shows Portsmouth history and other areas surrounding it. The artist is a Lafayette, LA, native known at the international levels as a muralist with an experience of over 25 years in this field. He is tasked in displaying everything all through the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Portsmouth is a county seat of the great county of Scioto and also a city in the Ohio state. Portsmouth municipality is situated right at the east of the popular Southern Ohio Scioto River and at the northern banks of the great Ohio River. Census exercise that was done in the year 2000 should the city had around 20,909 people.

This city is a confluence of the great, Scioto, the Little Scioto Rivers and also Ohio. Here is also a midway point between the major cities, these are Cincinnati, Columbus, Charleston and Lexington, all the four cities are about 90 miles off this city, and this is roughly a drive of about two hours. The terrain to these cities much of it is quite hilly because of the said dissected plateau that is around. But then, both the rivers make to carve to form a river valley and thus turning the city of Portsmouth nestles between the Ohio and Scioto Rivers.

Ohio’s Portsmouth roots started back in 1790, the time Alexandria town was founded where the present city of Portsmouth sits. Most times, this small town of Alexandria was flooded by Scioto and Ohio Rivers. Years later at around 1803, Henry Massie found a certain place that he hoped the town to be moved to somewhere away from the flooding plain. He made a step to make plans for the new city place by mapping the streets and distributing land.

The town of Portsmouth was founded back in the 1803 and thereafter in 1815 established as a city and the small town Alexandria disappeared and left the new town to grow at a rapid base as an industrial town with right the completion of Erie and Ohio Canal, the construction of the B&O junction, and the N&W railyards. All these benefited Boneyfiddle District greatly where different grand structures were built with finances from the commerce. Much of the commerce later started moving towards the main thoroughfare of this city today Chillicothe Street. The 19th century marks also another notable part of the history of this city by gaining a lot from the construction of the Underground Railroad. The construction was made on the route that passed through the north to Canada and Detroit.

The still was flood-prone even it was on higher ground. It experienced greatest floods in the years of 1884, followed to 1913 and later in 1937. A floodwall was constructed by the U.S. Army Engineer Corps after the 1937 floods to protect the city that gave protection in the major floods of 1964 and 1997. Portsmouth in 1992 started honouring its accomplishments of the entire area natives by placing a star on the floodwall riverside and this was instituted by Frank Gerlach the mayor at that time.

The mural based attraction site on this constructed floodwall was put under investigation by a non-profit group in 1992 led by Dr. Louis R. Chaboudy. A year later, the international muralist Robert Dafford was a commission to paint Portsmouth history murals with an assistant of Herb Roe, a local art student. The student worked with the muralist for 15 years and the project spanned eventually sixty 20 ft. high murals that stretched to over 610 m. A lot of subjects were covered all to display the history of this great land of Portsmouth.