New ‘Ghost Signs’ come to Downtown Hannibal

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If you’re looking for the fancy pair of lady’s boots or the boat trip to St. Louis from ads that recently popped up on the sides of buildings in downtown Hannibal, you are out of luck.

Diamond Jo Line Steamers Upper Mississippi Packet Line ghost sign

The two new vintage advertisements are part of the Bicentennial ‘ghost sign’ series. Local muralist Bob Allen is the artist behind them, his work replicates 1800’s ads to honor the Bicentennial. Tourism officials said it creates an authentic feel for visitors downtown.

“Signs like these would’ve been basically billboards, they would’ve been painted on the sides of buildings to advertise a company and their services, so this really adds a new piece of history to our downtown,” said Megan Rapp, Assistant Director of the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau.

There are now three signs downtown including the lady’s boot ad, the riverboat to St. Louis, and one for Hannibal Lime Company.

Ghost sign for Hannibal Lime Co., a business based out of Hannibal in the late 1800’s
Frank Healy

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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