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OH Man Revives Town with Paint

Monday, December 2, 2013

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Wielding a paint brush, an 82-year-old man has given an old town a new life.  

For nearly two years, James Cotter has gone house to house, business to business, giving each building in his childhood hometown of Glouster, OH, a fresh coat of paint, for free, according to numerous reports.

He is not alone in his effort, however. Hundreds of volunteers have helped him to spruce up the once-bustling coal mining town of nearly 2,000.

James Cotter

Screenshot via University of Cincinnati

In a video, “Jim Cotter: An Appalachian Renaissance,” produced by the University of Cincinnati, James Cotter, 82, explains his project to revamp Glouster, OH.

Hardware stores donated materials and supplies. Cash donations poured in from across the country after his efforts were covered by CBS News’ Steve Hartman in his On The Road segment last year.

His Inspiration

Cotter has said that his idea to paint the town came when he visited Glouster a few years ago. What he saw there was a far cry from what he remembered in his youth.

Dilapidated and vacant buildings with peeling paint plagued Glouster.

"Obviously," Cotter told the Associated Press, "almost every place in town needs painting."

He said that after his wife passed away in May 2012, he had time to go back and do something about what he saw.

“It's amazing what a little paint will do,” Cotter recently told a local news outlet. “More than anything else, it gives people hope.”


Tagged categories: Community service; Exterior painting; Maintenance + Renovation; Painters; Renovation; Restoration

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