Ligonier Fountain

Location: Ligonier, Pennsylvania, USA.

The research for this fountain was very interesting as it is linked to two other fountains. Although the drinking fountains themselves are not identical the terminals for all three hosted the same statue. A mold of the statue in Ligonier was cast to assist in the restoration of the fountains in Harrisonburg, PA and Babylon, NY.

Fundraising for a drinking fountain began in 1913 and on 21 June 1921 the structure was donated by the Ligonier Volunteer Hose Company #1. The fountain was 10 feet tall and provided drinking water for humans, dogs and horses. It was advertised as Man and Beast Fountain #209 by Stewart Iron Works Kentucky. It is located at the north side of the inner diamond facing North Market Street.

A square base with four short columns supported a dog toothed acroter. Rosettes were carved into each panel between the columns. A single column pedestal contained four inset panels displaying two swans with raised wings that rested on an orb from which rose Neptune’s trident flanked by stylized flowers and bulrushes. Three sides of the structure contained a drinking vessel. At ground level there was a small trough for dogs surmounted by a sculptured dog kennel. A second kennel was also located on an adjacent side. A wide and deep trough decorated with acanthus was available for the use of horses. A dolphin like fish released water from its mouth into the horse trough. A small basin for humans was decorated with large leaf pattern on the underside.

A multi-tiered acroter supporting a 36″ tall statue of a woman feeding a dove is identified as Girl Feeding Bird #226. A bird perches on her right wrist as she gathers a tunic at her left hip with her left hand creating a pouch containing seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth. The sculpture is attributed to bronze founder, George Fischer. The original colour scheme was green paint on the female figure and white paint on the bird.

The deep horse trough was removed circa 1999 due to concerns of possible drowning if a child fell in. Four years later in the winter of 2003, a State Department of Transportation vehicle destroyed the structure when the snow blade hit the fountain. The remains of the fountain were removed and stored in a garage until Stewart Iron Works was hired to repair it.

In 2009 the fountain was shipped to Stewart Iron Works in Covington, KY to be dismantled , cleaned and castings made for a replica in Babylon, Long Island, NY.

It was returned to Town Square in 2010, and a brass plaque was mounted documenting the donation by Ligonier Volunteer Hose Co. No. 1 firefighters in 1921.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base

 

 

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