Superior Public Library's murals were commissioned in 1992 by former library director, Dr. Paul H. Gaboriault. The murals were intended to tell the history of Superior and Douglas County beginning with the creation of the earth and ending with the 20th century. Private donations were solicited for the first panels and further funding was obtained through the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Duluth-Superior Community Foundation, and the Friends of the Superior Public Library. The paintings were completed in 2002.
The artist chosen for the mural project was Carl Gawboy. Mr. Gawboy was born in Cloquet, Minnesota, and grew up in the Ely area. He was educated at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the University of Wisconsin-Superior and obtained a master's degree from the University of Montana. For many years he taught art and American Indian Studies at local schools, including six years at UMD and twelve at the College of St. Scholastica. Mr. Gawboy currently resides in Duluth, MN.