Monthly Archives: January 2015

Golden Jubilee Fountain

Location: Keppel & George Streets, Machattie Park, Bathurst, NSW

To commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, a drinking fountain was erected in November 1888 by the Women and Girls of Bathurst. It was located on Russell Street between the Kings Parade and the courthouse. Flags were suspended across the street in celebration, and the ceremony was attended by a large audience which was entertained by a band. Mrs. McHattie presented the gift of a fountain to Mayor Webb. Following the advent of the motor vehicle, it became an obstacle and was relocated to Machattie Park.

The 18 ft. drinking fountain was a customization of number 27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. at the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with a small basin for dogs at ground level. The trough was a circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The central stanchion supported the structure which was seated on a circular plinth. A central fluted column was capped with a central lamp and four additional lamps on arm extensions. A shield on the post offered inscription. Four projecting tendrils suspended cups allowing humans to drink from the spouting water whilst horses drank from the large basin.

The structure was part of a Heritage study in 1990 and 1997, and was reviewed again in 2006. It was listed on the State Heritage Register in 2007 as a decorative and rare item of Victorian street furniture of historical, cultural and aesthetic significance.

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Lisburn’s Wallace Fountains

Location: Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Ireland

Sir Richard Wallace was a wealthy English art collector, philanthropist and Member of Parliament for Lisburn, Northern Ireland from 1873 to 1885 before retiring in Paris, France. When the Franco Prussian war damaged many of the aqueducts in Paris there remained little access to clean water for many of the most needy Parisians. His solution to this problem was the erection of public drinking fountains.

The famous Caratyd drinking fountains were manufactured by the Val d’Osne Foundry from a work of art by the French sculptor, Charles-Auguste Lebourg, in 1872. A stamp is visible on the fountain: Ch. Lebourg SC 1872.

Sir Richard donated five fountains to his former parliamentary constituency at Lisburn in 1876. Each was to be placed in a working class district of the city.

  1. at the junction of Market Place and Bow Street;
  2. in Market Square;
  3. in the Castle Gardens, which remains in its original position;
  4. at the junction of Seymour Street, Low Road and Millbrook, in front of the Seymour Street Methodist Church;
  5. in the Wallace Park, main walk.

During the war years three of the fountains were dismantled to accommodate the demand for metal to make armaments. Numbers 2 and 3 are the only remaining fountains.

The fountain at Market Square was relocated to Wallace Gardens circa 1922 to allow for the erection of a monument to General John Nicholson. Vandalised in the 1970s and 1980s it was returned to Market Square where the monument and fountain resided in a sunken garden. In 2013 the fountain was returned to its previous home in Wallace Park.

The Castle Gardens and its Wallace fountain were restored by Lisburn City Council with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The base of the famous forest green fountain (the colour chosen to blend in with parks and trees) is a Greek cross plinth with canted corners from which the pedestal arises. An elaborate console decorated with a scallop shell from which a string of pearls flows separates four column panels on which the image of a water serpent is coiled around a trident. The trident is associated with the mythological Poseidon who struck the earth and water sprung up. A scallop is symbolic of baptism and fertility, and pearls represent purity and wisdom.

A cornice contains the name of the manufacturer, Val D’Osne, and another records the name of the sculptor, Ch. Lebourg SC / 1872. Four caratytids, each subtly different in posture and dress, stand with raised arms to support a fish scale dome with fleur-de-lys cornice. The four dolphins with entwined tails at the apex are a symbolic protector of all things related to water.

The statues in feminine form represent kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety (at a time when the Temperance Movement was very active.) They also represent the 4 seasons: Simplicity symbolizes spring, Charity: summer, Sobriety: autumn and Kindness: winter. The statues differ from each other in several other ways: Simplicity and Sobriety have their eyes closed; whereas the eyes of Kindness and Charity are open. They are also different in the position of the knee and feet, or by the manner in which their tunic is knotted at the bodice.

A stream of water descended from the interior of the dome into a basin. Tin cups were originally chained to the fountains until public hygiene became a prevalent social issue.

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Caryatid, a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Mariani Fountain

Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

There is some dispute as to the origins of this fountain now located in Aquatic Park which was previously located at 23rd and Columbia (now Florida) Streets in front of the S. Mariani & Sons hardware store.

A member of the Mariani family stated that the fountain was cast in Oakland in 1872 and acquired by her father nine years later. However, documents included in the Karl Kortum papers at the San Francisco Maritime library identify the fountain as previously outside the Hibernia Savings and Loan Society (known as Peter Donahue’s Bank) at Montgomery & Post during the 1870s and 1880s. In 1881 it was relocated outside the Mariani hardware store. Perhaps it was purchased by Mariani to be erected outside his business.

The above photograph was part of a newspaper article. The caption reads, “Not for sale is this original 82 year-old Mission fountain, owned by Walter A. Mariani, long-time hardware merchant. The City wants it for a bridle path on Sunset Blvd. Mrs. Amanda Rivera poses beside the relic.”

The move to Sunet Blvd did not come to fruition. However, it was relocated to a newly created park (the vision of Maritime Museum director, Karl Kortum ) at the Hyde Street cable car turntable and the dead-end of Jefferson Street. The fountain was donated to the park by the Mariani family where it was erected in 1962.

The cast iron octagonal pedestal fountain offered a supply of drinking water to humans, horses and smaller animals. Arched panels and rosettes decorated the column. A fluted, recessed, demilune basin with a cup suspended on a chain offered a drinking receptacle for humans. On the opposite side a fluted trough was offered for the refreshment of horses. Water flowed from a lion mask. Small fluted demilune basins were situated at ground level on the remaining two sides for the convenience of dogs. Overflow water from the basins above was released from a lion’s head mask.

A small engraved plaque inset to the ground states, A Gift To The State Of California By The Pioneer Mariani Family. The Grandfather, James Mariani, Arrived On These Shores In 1852. Presented In The Memory Of The Father, Stephen Mariani, Who Purchased The Fountain In 1881 To Place In Front Of His Establishment At 23rd And Florida November 1961.
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Glossary:
• Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
• Fluted, a long rounded groove
• Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue


MacKirdy Fountain

Location: Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland

In 1873 water from a spring in Greenburn hill was directed to the village using a ditch. An agreement to provide the village with a proper water supply was reached years later with John MacKirdy who promised a generous donation to create what would become known as the MacKirdy tank. As part of the agreement, Birkwood House (the MacKirdy home) would benefit from the water supply, and a drinking fountain would be erected in the village.

The drinking fountain was erected in the 1880s at the junction of Abbey road and New Trows Road where it remained until 1926 when it became an obstacle to bus traffic. A decision was made to relocate the structure to MacKirdy Park, but during the dismantling process it was damaged beyond repair.

The junction continued to be referred to as the Fountain, and following pressure from local residents the South Lanarkshire Council authorised the creation of a reproduction. Machan Engineering was hired to manufacture and install an exact replica of the original fountain. This was accomplished using original moulds and new pieces created from drawings of the original. JPS Restoration & Property Services assisted in the assembly of the whole, the installation of the fountain and painting of the structure. The drinking fountain was restored to its original location on 24th June 2010.

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 21 (18 feet by 4 feet) from Walter Macfarlane’s catalog manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a circular plinth (originally a two tiered octagonal plinth), the canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings which display lunettes with alternate images of cranes and swans, or optional memorial shields. On each side arch faceplates provide a flat surface for inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

Doves and flowers offer decorative relief on the circular, open filigree, ribbed dome. The internal capitals contain flowers, and statues of owls on enlarged column heads. The openwork iron canopy was originally surmounted with a lantern finial.

Owl mask capital

Owl mask capital

Under the canopy stands the font, design number 4 (4ft. 9ins), a single decorative pedestal seated on an octagonal base. The interior surface of the basin is engraved with a scalloped design. An elongated column decorated with floral relief offered drinking cups suspended by chains from two consoles.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife; and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Woodhouse Moor Fountain

Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

In 1857, following an Act of Parliament, Leeds Corporation acquired the Woodhouse Moor for £3,200 and it became the town’s first municipal park. It was formally landscaped in the 1870s with trees, walkways, gardens, a fountain with clock turret and a bandstand. The walkways were later enhanced in 1902 with iron archways and gas lights to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII and facilitate ‘evening promenading’ The Moor has a number of diagonal walkways which converge in the centre where the bandstand and fountain originally stood.

Alderman William North donated the imposing public drinking fountain and bandstand which was a focal point of the walks in the park. It was presented by the Leeds councillor in 1879. The clock turret was presented by Councillor Adam Brown.

The bandstand was removed during World War II to be melted down to supply armaments for the war effort. It is possible that this ‘Lost’ fountain endured the same fate.

Drinking fountain number 1 manufactured by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland, consisted of a modified octagonal base forming the shape of cross. The structure was seated on a two tiered circular plinth. A single rectangular column was divided into 5 levels with the use of acroteria and cornices. The upper levels were supported by four columns with lamp terminals.

Arches offered space for memorial inscriptions and had lunettes with a barometer and thermometer. A demilune basin with tap provided drinking water. In the upper tiers shields were offered on each inset square panel, and provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters. A clock face pointed in each compass direction. The finial was a weather vane surmounted on a four tiered acroteria.

Glossary:

  • Acroteria, an ornament placed on a flat base and mounted at the apex of the pediment
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Alexander Munro Drinking Fountain

Location: Singleton, New South Wales, Australia

Alexander Munro was born in Ardesier, Scotland. He was transported as a convict to Australia at the age of 17 for the crime of stealing money, two pieces of cheese and some raisins from a grocery store. After his release in New South Wales, he created many businesses including the Caledonia Hotel. He became Singleton’s first Mayor and served for 5 consecutive years.

Known for his generosity, he commissioned a drinking fountain in 1887 to supply water to the poor dogs that followed their masters from the country and had nowhere to quench their thirst. Permission to erect the fountain in the garden in front of the Singleton Gaol was received from the Colonial Secretary’s office in Sydney with condition that the fence was re-erected at the Borough Council’s expense.

The erection of the fountain was delayed for several years as a dispute erupted regarding the ongoing cost of water and gas supply. Alexander Munro solved the dispute by offering to cover the cost of pipes to connect water, but the project was further delayed while Council decided which location was most suitable.

Three years after the fountain arrived in Singleton it still had not been erected and was lying in a back yard with weeds growing around it. Alexander died on 2 February 1889 without ever seeing the fountain installed.

Mr. Walter Lamb provided the town with a corner of land, free of cost, to enable the fountain to be erected. It was originally located in George Street, at the intersection of Campbell and Cambridge streets, almost opposite the Caledonia hotel which was built and owned by Alexander Munro. It was painted, gilded and varnished in December, and finally dedicated on Thursday 31 August 1890. Mrs. R H. Levien unveiled a large Australian flag which was folded around the column, and using a ceremonial sterling silver cup she filled it from the streaming water.

The fountain was a great boon to the town and made it unnecessary for cattle and horses to go to the river to drink. Vandalism occurred in 1894 when one of the drinking cups was detached and thrown into the trough. By the end of 1909 the dog trough contained no water and was filled with rubbish. Thirsty dogs leapt into the horse trough and lay there contaminating the drinking water.

With the advent of the motor vehicle, the fountain became an obstacle and a proposal to erect a fence around the fountain was rejected. Notices were printed cautioning drivers from damaging the fountain whilst driving.

Due to neglect of the structure, a fracture which had formed in the base of the column in November 1911 caused the column to lean. The drinking bowl was removed in 1935 and sold to Mr. P. Nelson who proceeded to use it as a goldfish bowl in the garden of his ornate home. The remaining structure was dismantled in June 1947. It was later rescued from the Council landfill and relocated to the garden of the Singleton Historical Society Museum in Burdekin Park.

An interesting note from 26 February 1924: a swarm of grasshoppers infested the city and the water in the basin of the fountain was covered in drowned insects.

The 18 ft. drinking fountain was number 27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. at the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with a small basin for dogs at ground level. The trough was a circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The central stanchion supported the structure which is now seated on a circular brick plinth. A central fluted column was capped with a hexagonal lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass (design number 223). The lantern which cast the light downwards was surmounted with a crown terminal. A shield on the post offered inscription: From Alexander Munro To The People Of Singleton 1887. Four projecting tendrils suspended cups allowing humans to drink from the spouting water whilst horses drank from the large basin.

In closing, a poem written about the Alexander Munro Fountain in Singleton.
The Fountain
For sixty years it stood in the street,
That landmark we knew as the fountain,
“Twas there that the drivers and horses would meet
When they hauled the big logs from the mountain.

The horses refreshed by the water they drank,
The great teams from all over the Valley,
But the drivers, we think avoided the tank
And had a few on the quiet at the “Cally.”

Progress demands and times marches on,
We must widen our roads for the traffic,
But we think of the past, now the landmark has gone
And the corners won’t look quite so graphic.

With our motors and buses and roads up to date,
We think of teamsters and logs from the mountain,
And reflect on the driver whose team was too late
Not home and hosed, for the “Cally” was closed, so he drank with his horse at the fountain.
~ by T.F. Melody~

Glossary

  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

W.C.T.U. Fountain

Location: Reno City, Nevada, USA

On October 17, 1908, a drinking fountain commissioned by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the American Red Cross was dedicated to the veterans of the Spanish-American War. It was erected at the southwest corner of Plaza and North Virginia Streets in Reno.

The Temperance movement which began in the early 19th century advocated moderation in alcohol consumption. The belief that alcohol was responsible for many of society’s ills made this social movement popular, and in 1904 the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union encouraged local chapters to erect fresh water fountains in public venues. The strategy of offering a free source of water (and thereby quenching ‘the thirst of all of God’s creatures’) to men, their horses and dogs had the intention of refraining men from entering saloons.

The fourteen-foot cast iron drinking fountain stood on a square plinth with gable ends. Four panels were available for dedication: Presented To / The City Of Reno By The W.C.T.U. / And Red Cross Society / In Memory Of / The Nevada Volunteers.

An acroter supports a square pedestal with decorative frieze. Four panels with triangular arches on each side offer further space for memorial. Crossed swords, with the number 1, visible on two sides represent the First Calvary Volunteers of Nevada, which fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War of 1898. The Red Cross symbol, displayed in the two remaining panels, honors the organization’s work in caring for wounded veterans.

A fluted column with attic base and volute contains two consoles with round glass globes. The finial is a third glass globe. The water trough for horses is located beneath a Red Cross symbol. There are two basins for human consumption; each is mounted beneath a panel containing the symbol of crossed swords. A demilune basin at ground level for dogs is also visible.

The structure was removed from the original site in 1932 to be replaced with a Flying A gasoline station. The fountain was relocated to the front of the California Building in Idlewild Park where it’s only use was as a receptacle for garbage.

In 2003, the Reno City Council provided funding for restoration of the fountain and the relocation of the fountain to the Amtrak train station. After four years of restoration under the leadership of Neal Cobb and David Hollecker, it was rededicated and can now be found in the waiting room at the track level of the station. A wall display offers information and photographs of the fountain, the Temperance movement and historic images of the Southern Pacific railway station.

Glossary:

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Volute, a spiral scroll-like ornament found in the capital of a column