W.C.T.U. Fountain

Location: Spring Lake, Michigan, USA

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union donated the fountain in September 1910 to encourage quenching thirst with water instead of alcoholic beverages. Originally erected on the southeast corner of Savidge and Jackson streets it was moved several times including the backyard of a private residence. In 1988 it was restored and relocated to the current location on the east side of Jackson Street between Savidge and Exchange streets.

Over the years a lack of maintenance caused the paint to vanish and rust appeared. The village of Spring Lake agreed in 2007 that the structure should be restored with funding from a 5 year capital improvement budget. Restoration was completed by Mercene Karkadoulias Bronze Art in Cincinnati. With no paint residue to compare the fountain was painted with colours common in the 1900s. Water is now delivered by two faucets and the dog troughs are filled with water drained from the upper basins.

The original fountain was manufactured by J.L. Mott Ironworks and is casting number 12. Seated on a square plinth, the circular column contains two troughs at ground level for the use of dogs and smaller animals. An inscription on the base contains the legend, W.C.T.U. Sep. 1910. A demi-lune basin for the use of humans is located on two sides. Decorated with bas-relief in the form of fruits and acanthus leaves, the column also displays dog mascarons above the basins from which water spouted. Tin cups were suspended on chains from orbs between the dog masks. The capital is an urn surmounted with a spike.

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Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

 

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Posted on May 28, 2015, in Architecture, Cast Iron, Drinking Fountain, J. L. Mott, United States of America and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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