Jim Hanson owns the H & M Saloon, a reception hall on his family’s farmland located in Assaria, Kansas. During construction, a scissor lift left hydraulic oil stains on the floor. Unable to get them out, he hired Troy Vancil, owner of Boulder Polishing in 2021 for a unique stencil in concrete. The result is both awe-inspiring and respectfully honors the Hanson family history.
Not able to remove the stains, he was ready to live with them. “But Troy said maybe he could do something else with it,” says Hanson. “I thought it sounded kind of fun.”
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The Hanson family was one of the earliest homesteaders on the land, establishing a municipality in the mid-1800s. However, the ties go back even further with more than 200 years of history. Hanson’s matrilineal ancestors immigrated to the U.S. from England in the early 1700s. The father and grandfather immigrated in 1869 from Sweden.
Hanson wanted the reception hall, commemorating his father and mother (Henry and Marguerite), to further memorialize their memory with a one-of-a-kind 13 ft. by 7 ft. installation with stenciled depictions in concrete.
Most of the hydraulic stains ended up being straightforward – others remained a bit more stubborn. He used an oil and grease stain remover from PROSOCO to pull most of the stains from the concrete, the remainder were cut out and then filled with micro-topping.
With the art completed, the project fills Hanson with pride. Upon the reveal, “My grandfather was 18 when he came here from Sweden,” he says. “This picture shows the house where my grandfather lived. It’s the house my dad was born in, and it’s the house I live in now.”
What better way to honor your ancestry than by setting it in concrete.