Wheeler Clock Fountain

Location: Manitou Springs, Colorado, U.S.A.

Jerome Wheeler was a successful businessman in the railway and mining industry. In 1889 he built the Manitou Mineral Water Co. Bottling Plant and donated a clock tower with drinking fountain to celebrate the event.

The cast iron structure, manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of Trenton, New Jersey, originally stood on a two tiered octagonal plinth, and the base with chamfered corners offered four drinking troughs for small animals. Eight panels are surmounted with scalloped arches and dolphin masks from which water spouted into four basins decorated with laurel leaves. A square central column hosts four cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner is bound with a highly decorated column.

Above, an attic base supports a rectangular column with inset panels of floral relief. Four clock faces function as the acroter for the terminal of a woman in flowing robes who holds a pitcher in her left hand. The statue originally held a cup in her right hand which has been transformed into a lamp. Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, represents the healing mineral waters in the area.

On a stone in front of the structure is an engraved plaque: Erected In Tribute / To The Memory Of / Col. Jerome B. Wheeler / By The Citizens Of / Manitou Springs / In Recognition Of His / Distinguished Military Service / During The Civil War, His Active / Interest In The Development Of / Colorado, And His Many Generous / Gifts To The Town He Loved So / Well. It was installed in 2004 by Manitou Historic Preservation Commission with the assistance of the Colorado Historical Society’s state historical fund.

The area of Manitou Springs was surveyed for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The Wheeler clock was cited in the report.

In 1991, the structure was restored with funding from citizens and local businesses. The Historic Preservation Commission and the Colorado Centennial Chapter #100 of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors managed the project which included repainting, recreating stained glass faces from historic photos, recasting missing dolphin heads, and creating new interior works and illumination.


  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • 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.
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Image Sources





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