An old friend has come to live in my new office. Next time you’re strolling down Indiana Avenue, take a look inside my window. Look past the Marathon Mile-Maker globe, McGill Golf Club, and Captain American helmet. Trust me, you won’t miss it.
Murray Beach is standing proudly with his massive Goliath Grouper. No, I don’t think he caught it with that cane fishing pole! What we do know if that man in the painting (Murray Beach), the man who painted it (Henry Cross), and the man who commissioned it (Elias “Lucky” Baldwin) all have a connection to Porter County, Indiana.
This particular painting commemorates a 1903 fishing trip off of Catalina Island in California. I forget the exact weight of the fish Murray caught, but it is easy to see it was large!
Unfortunately, this piece was slashed during a break-in at the Conservation Club in the 1970s. The members of the club, led by Marvin Phares, voted to give the piece to the Porter County Museum for safekeeping.
I know PoCo Muse will have this piece professionally restored one day (which will cost approximately $10,000), but I am happy to have it on display again via my window for the meantime.
Next time you are in downtown Valparaiso, take a look!