Jack Williams recreates Royal Crown Cola mural in downtown Oakboro

Following up on his recent work in downtown Albemarle, local artist Jack Williams has completed a ghost mural in downtown Oakboro, on the south wall of the Los Jacubes Family Mexican Restaurant building.

The 12-foot by 18-foot red and yellow Royal Crown Cola sign is a nod to the same logo that was once painted on the building in the late 1950s, before several other images, including a Coca-Cola sign, took its place.

“It actually has been painted over so many times that you couldn’t see the Royal Cola sign anymore so we recreated it where it was,” Williams said.

Similar logos for the soda, which was invented by Claud A. Hatcher in 1905, were painted in Badin and Mount Gilead, Williams said.

“They seem pretty unique to our area.”

The Royal Crown Cola sign is the third ghost mural Jack Williams has completed this year, following two murals in downtown Albemarle.

Ghost murals are old hand-painted advertising signs that have been preserved on buildings for an extended period of time.

Wanting to acknowledge the town’s past, Oakboro Police Chief T.J. Smith, who is also president of the Greater Oakboro Business Association, said the organization set out to recreate the oldest mural they could find in the downtown area. He received a 1958 photo of the Royal Crown Cola taken during the July 4 parade from Jane Barnhardt, director of the Oakboro Regional Museum of History.

“We decided to bring that thing back to life,” said Smith, who contacted Williams about the project.

Jack Williams’ completed mural, top, compared to the Royal Crown Cola sign in 1958. Photo courtesy of T.J. Smith.

After securing a $2,500 grant from the Stanly County Visitor’s Bureau, GOBA and the town came up with the additional $1,000 to finance the mural.

The Royal Crown logo was Williams’ third ghost mural he has completed so far this year. He and his brother Eli finished two ghost murals in downtown Albemarle last month: a 12-foot by 20-foot green and white mural of the former Davis Motor Company logo on the side of a building along West Main Street and a 8-foot by 18-foot yellow and red image of the Nehi Cola logo on the side of Roger Martin Gallery, across from Pfeiffer University’s Center for Health Sciences.

Williams, 24, said he is in talks with GOBA and town officials about another art project.

“I personally absolutely love the mural,” Smith said. “I think Jack did an amazing job.”

“Anything that beautifies our amazing little town, I’m all for it,” he added.