Lewis Memorial Fountain

Location: Watertown, Wisconsin, USA

The drinking fountain located at the intersection of Main and Washington Streets was commissioned by the benevolent industrialist Robert E. Lewis and his wife Fanny in memory of their son, Clifton, who died age 44 from Bright’s disease, an inflammation of the kidneys.

Circa 1902. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Circa 1902. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Erected in 1896, the fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The structure was seated on an octagonal stone plinth. It consisted of a single pedestal with attic base and canted corners surmounted by a bronze statue of an Indian Chief.

Circa 1898.Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Circa 1898.Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

The fountain supplied water to horses, humans and dogs via dolphin mascarons. Eight arched cornices contained dolphin masks which are symbolic of guardians of water. Two of the mascarons spouted water into demi-lune fluted basins for human consumption. Drinking cups were suspended by chains.

Horses drank from two large demi-lune fluted troughs from which overflow water fed four smaller basins on each corner for the refreshment of smaller animals. A plaque between the dog troughs was inscribed with the maker’s name, The J.L. Mott/Iron Wks. N.Y.

An attic base supported a short column containing 4 inset panels bounded by pilasters. Within the panels, 3 cartouches contained bas-relief and a fourth cartouche was an engraved plaque.

Bas-relief on panels

Bas-relief on panels

The addition of a second concrete plinth raised the height of the horse troughs in 1908. Consoles bearing globe lamps were attached circa 1919.

Circa 1919. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Circa 1919. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

The capital supported the Indian figure. The statue of an Indian was originally a wood carving created by Samuel Anderson Robb who was the leading cigar store Indian peddler. It was carved for William Demuth & Co. who cast it in zinc and advertised it in his catalog as “No. 53 Indian Chief.” In 1873, the J.L. Mott Iron Works purchased the design and listed it in their catalog of statuary. In his right hand the Indian Chief holds an arrow, and in his left hand he holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balances the sculpture. He is dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

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The fountain was removed in 1908 to lay street car rails, and upon completion, it was re-erected in an east/west direction to lessen the chance of an accident while horses were drinking.

Circa 1908. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Circa 1908. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

However, the fountain became an obstacle with the advent of the motor vehicle, and in 1925 the statue was toppled when a car hit the structure. Damaged beyond repair, a duplicate purchased from J. L. Mott Iron Works was erected in Union Park. It deteriorated there over several decades due to inclement weather and vandalism until it was relocated to the grounds of the Octagon House Museum in 1964 where it is in the custody of the Watertown Historical Society.

Many thanks to the Watertown Historical Society for permission to use the images. For a more in depth history please visit their site at http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Queen Street Fountain

Location: Clifton, Bristol, England

An offer of £100 was made in 1859 by Mr. Robert Lane, a member of the Bristol town council, for the erection of drinking fountains. In 1880 a drinking fountain and stone horse trough was erected on Queens Road opposite the art museum near tramway number 8 terminal.

The drinking fountain was manufactured by Coalbrookdale Company and was a blend of two castings, using the pedestal of #112A and the dome/terminal of #130.

It was 7’10” high and seated on an octagonal 3 tiered plinth. Four fluted pilasters surrounded a central pedestal with canted corner base. Arch shaped panels hosted bas-relief of alternating Neptune mascarons and a figure holding an urn from which water flows.

The supply of water fell from the dome into a shallow basin. Drinking cups chained to the neck of a swan were supported on a small ledge above the Neptune mask.

The consoles were swans with neck bent, and upward wings. Four columns supported an acroter with frieze. The domed roof had an urn terminal.

A stone trough was placed beside the fountain to enable man and horse to quench thirsts in the same location.

This lost fountain was still identified on a 1949 map. Sometime thereafter it was removed to appease traffic flow.

Circa 1900. Used with permission. Source: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/aztecwest/7075912327/

Circa 1900. Used with permission. Source: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/aztecwest/7075912327/

Glossary:

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

Jubilee Fountain and Lamp Standard

Location: Poynton, Cheshire, England

The drinking fountain erected in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was located at the crossroads of London Road, Cheshire Road and Park Lane when Poynton was merely a hamlet.

The fountain is a modification of casting number 41, manufactured by the Lion Foundry of Kirkintilloch. The moulded horse troughs in the base are not part of the original design and were manufactured by Wilson and Co., Manchester.

The pedestal with chamfered edge hosts four panels. On three sides a compass cross contains a lion mascaron with self-closing tap from which water spouted into small basins. Drinking water was captured in metal cups suspended on chains. Overflow water which drained into demi-lune troughs for horses also fed small troughs at ground level for dogs.

The fourth panel is inscribed with the dedication: 1837 Erected 1937 / By The / Inhabitants Of / Poynton / In Commemoration / Of The / Diamond Jubilee / Of / Queen Victoria.

A frieze of acanthus leaves is situated beneath the capital upon which there is a lamp standard with four decorative feet in the form of scrolls. The pedestal, also originally used as a guide post with four directional plates, has a bulbous base with bas-relief extending into a fluted column with bands. A two tiered acroter supports a candelabrum of four glass lanterns with elaborate consoles. These lamps offered the first street lighting in the village.

The fountain was registered as a Grade II listed building on 17 November 1983. Listed Building Consent was received to relocate the fountain, and after restoration it was relocated to Park Lane in 2011.

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Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

 

 

Moses Fountain

Location: Hythe, Kent, England

The drinking fountain inset to a wall in Red Lion Square was donated in 1886 by Mayor Thomas Judge. It was originally installed next to the Town Hall on Stade Street in the wall of Dr. Fagge’s house which was later converted to a bank. When the bank was rebuilt in 1911 the fountain was relocated to Market Square (renamed Red Lion Square).

The fountain was cast by Coalbrookdale Company of Shropshire from a design by William and Thomas Wills of Suffolk. The brothers were noted sculptors in the mid 19th. century and best known for their designs of drinking fountains.

The cast iron frame is in the form of a stylized shield with curved and winged edges. The top part of the shield, in the form of an ogee arch, contains a sculpture of winged cherubs resting upon clouds. Beneath the cherub is a legend, He Opened The Rock And / The Waters Gushed Out / They Ran In The Dry Places / Like A River / Psalm CV 41.

A recessed round arch contains the drinking well and the name of the sculptors, Wills Brothers Sculpt London. Water was dispersed into the basin via a spigot concealed behind a clam shell decoration situated in the interior of the arch. The foundry’s name is engraved on the edge of the basin, Coalbrookdale Co. Beneath the well is an engraving, Presented / To The Borough Of Hythe / By / Thos Judge Esq / Mayor / 1885.6.

Each side of the arch is decorated with reeds and foliage. On the left side is a robed male figure with long beard standing contrapposto. In his left hand is a rod resting on the cusp of the arch. This is a depiction of Moses striking the rock to release gushing water. On the right of the drinking well is the robed figure of a woman offering a basin of water to a naked child.

A recessed trough at ground level offered overflow water to dogs and small animals.

In 1965 public awareness of water related diseases prompted the removal of the metal cup by the Health Department and the supply of water being withdrawn.

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Glossary:

  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Ogee arch, an arch with a concave apex

 

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