James Beatton Memorial Fountain

Location: Port Augusta, SA, Australia

James Beatton, who marked 50 years as an officer of the State and Commonwealth, was Postmaster of Port Augusta for 24 years before retiring in 1904. A testimonial to this event was in the planning stages when he died in 1905. A decision to create a lasting tribute was agreed, and donations for a memorial drinking fountain were made by the public.

As a mark of esteem by the community, the memorial was erected at the wharf end of Commercial Road. Mayor T. Hewitson turned on the fountain and declared it open for public use on 6 July 1906. The fountain was relocated in the 1930s to Gladstone Square.

The structure is a casting by Stewart & Harley’s Sun Foundry of Adelaide. It originally stood on a rectangular plinth surrounded by a cement post fence.

The capitals of four decorated columns with square base, partly fluted shaft and palmette terminals unite with a corona of entwined palmette scrollwork. Central to the Gothic arches, a stanchion supports an ascending spike and orb finial and a descending inverted finial. The font is an octagonal pedestal with large decorated basin from the centre of which there was originally a column with a domed terminal supporting metal cups for drinking. This has since been replaced with a bubbler. A small basin for dogs is visible at ground level.

The font bears the inscription: Erected / To The Memory / Of / James Beatton / For 24 Years Postmaster / Of This Town/ Died November 25th, 1905.

The memorial fountain was recorded on the South Australia Heritage Register on 24 July 1980.


  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Corona, Open framework in shape of a crown
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column Palmette
  • Gothic arch, a pointed arch
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

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