The Packing Shed
1999- Gary Kirby
Lo Bue Packing House- Honolulu & Sweet Brier
The mural depicts the process of picking oranges, and packing them in wooden picking boxes. Tramps are seen being interviewed for employment. The tramps were a very important part of Lindsay’s labor force. They usually arrived on a free ride in a box car. Included in the mural is a sign that was actually posted in Lindsay to encourage the tramps to stop in Lindsay.
The oranges were packed in an open shed, not an enclosed building. The right end of the mural winds around the corner, and a Southern Pacific Train is shown along with the tramps enjoying a respite under an Oak tree. There was no refrigeration at the time, and almost all oranges were shipped by rail. You will notice a man is pedaling a bicycle-like apparatus which turns a “bull-wheel” that moves a belt that carries the oranges to an automatic sizer and into bins. There was no electrical power, just true man power. The actual placing of the oranges in wooden crates was for the most part a woman’s job.
The days were long, twelve hours or more as everyone hurried to get the oranges off the trees, packed in boxes, loaded into the boxcar and on their way to market before frost or decay damaged them. Local historians agree the first oranges were picked in 1893 and then packed by Capt. Hutchinson in the old McNeir grain warehouse. The warehouse was located on the west side of the Southern Pacific tracks just south of Honolulu Street.
The mural is symbolic of all the packing sheds that sprang up at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is not a depiction of any one packing shed, but a composite of several. It is not the story of a building, but the proud story of the people whose sweat and ingenuity made it all happen.

The mural is 14' in height by 100' in width.