Diehl Fountain

Location: Frederick, Maryland, USA

Miss Marie Diehl, known for her commitment to animal welfare, was a founding member of the Frederick Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, currently known as the Frederick Humane Society.

After Marie’s death in 1907, it was decided to erect a drinking fountain in her honour. Controversy over the best location was resolved when the People’s Fire Insurance Company donated property at the corner of North Court and West Church Streets. The design was selected from J. L. Mott Iron Works catalog by the local branch of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union who donated it to the city. The fountain was formally dedicated to Marie Diehl on August 17, 1911.

The 12-feet high structure was seated on a square base. Two small demi-lune basins were located at ground level for the use of dogs. Four inset panels with highly decorated pilasters displayed an orb surrounded by flourish. On one side was a large trough to accommodate horses, and on the opposite side was a basin for the use of humans. The terminal was a statue of Hebe, classically dressed, holding a pitcher at her right side and a cup in her raised left hand.

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With the advent of the motor vehicle, there was less need for horse troughs and the water fountains were removed. The statue then fell into disrepair and crashed to the ground in November 1947. The entire structure was removed and stored at the City Light Plant on the corner of East Street and East Second Street. When the plant was sold in 1972, the remnants of the statue were recognized and brought to the attention of the Historical Society of Frederick County. The statue, restored by David Mantell, stands on a piece of the original base and is now located in the garden of Steiner House, the headquarters of the Frederick Women’s Civic Club.

BAS-RELIEF

The City of Frederick commissioned Charles C. Crum III to design a fountain for Carroll Creek Linear Park which was officially opened in 2006. Wanting to recognize the City’s history, Crum started work on a design that would highlight the ‘lost’ Marie Diehl drinking fountain. With the original purpose of the fountain uppermost in his mind, he created a fountain for humans and animals using a few remaining pieces of the original fountain.

To highlight the original fountain, a 6 foot tall bas-relief was created by sculptor, Antonio Tobias Mendes, which depicted the fountain and the statue of Hebe as it existed in 1911.

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As a generous benefactor of the project, the Green-walled Garden Club officially opened the fountain with the City of Frederick on 19 July 2007. A dedication plaque is positioned above the fountain.

Diehl Memorial Fountain

The Original Memorial, Unveiled On August 17, 1911 / Was Dedicated To The Humane Efforts Of Marie Diehl (1855-1907) / A Founder Of The Frederick Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals / Now The Frederick Humane Society.

The 12-Foot Tall Monument Depicted Hebe, The Greek Goddess / Of Youth And Spring, And Featured Drinking Fountains “For Man And Beast.” / In Addition To A Fountain For People, There Was A Large Basin For Horses / And Two On The Sides For Dogs And Cats.

The Bas-Relief Here Portrays The Original Memorial Where It Stood / At The Corner Of Church And Court Streets. And, In That Monument’s Tradition / These Fountains Are “To Furnish Refreshing Drink” To The Citizens Of Frederick / And Their Beloved Animals.

Glossary:

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
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Posted on April 8, 2015, in Architecture, Cast Iron, J. L. Mott, Lost, Memorial Drinking Fountain, United States of America and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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