Hebe Fountain

Location: Roseburg, Oregon, USA

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 around the world. In Roseburg, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the Mental Culture Club now known as the Roseburg’s Women’s Club, donated a fountain to the city as an alternative to quenching thirsts in saloons.

The 12 foot high fountain surmounted by a statue of Hebe was erected on the corner of Cass Avenue and Main St. contrary to the Mayor’s concern that it would be a traffic hazard. It was dedicated on September 30, 1908 and provided water for horses and dogs in addition to humans. Four years later the Mayor was proven correct when a team of runaway horses pulling a wagon crashed into the fountain toppling the statue. The fountain was removed and the statue lost.

In 2002 during planning of the restoration of historic Roseburg Town Center the Park Commission recommended that a replica of the fountain be placed in Eagles Park. Fundraising by a local group assisted in the erection of the fountain in the park on Jackson Street. It was dedicated on 30 September 2007 and unveiled by Roseburg Mayor Larry Rich who took the first drink from the fountain.

The original structure cast by J. L. Mott Iron Works was seated on a square base with pilasters on each corner. Two small demi-lune basins were located at ground level for the use of dogs, and at the front was a large trough to accommodate horses. The bas-relief enrichment on the trough was also displayed on the three base panels. The pedestal contained four inset panels with lion mascarons, and on three sides were demi-lune basins for human use. The terminal was a statue of Hebe, classically dressed, holding a pitcher at her right side and a cup in her raised left hand.

A plaque with legend relating the history of the ‘Hebe’ fountain is at the rear of the current structure.

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Glossary:

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • 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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