Dream Streets Sparta was removing plywood from the front and back entrances of an alley between two buildings on Broad Street when they discovered an old African American barbershop and hand-painted murals.
Dream Streets Sparta believes the barbershop was a multigenerational business, owned and operated by a grandfather, father and then son Willie Warthen.
Either the grandfather or father painted the murals, the group said. They are asking seniors within the community for any additional details they remember about the discovery.
The current property owner plans to preserve the art, according to the group. “This is just the kind of detail that sets Sparta apart and it’s thoughtful preservation is just the kind of thing that tourists love to see and hear the stories about,” Dream Streets Sparta said.