W.C.T.U. Fountain

Location: Anacortes, Washington, USA

The drinking fountain, currently situated at the intersection of 8th Street and M Avenue on the grounds of the Anacortes Museum of History (former Carnegie Library), was originally erected on the corner of 5th Street at 420 Commercial Avenue. It was donated by the Fidalgo Chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union on Sept. 13, 1906, in remembrance of Carrie M. White who was a driving force in the W.C.T.U.’s mission to provide citizens with an alternative to liquor (the town was inundated with drinking establishments at this period in history.)

In 1934 in preparation of widening of the streets the fountain was moved to Washington Park where it deteriorated over the following four decades. It was restored in 1974 and relocated to the west side of the Museum’s front steps. In 2002 repair was required to one of the dog bowls and a brass replica was created. After repainting, the fountain was moved to its present location on the northeast corner of the Museum’s grounds.

The fountain, seated on a square plinth, consisting of a square column surmounted by a statue, is 9 feet tall. The four square panels at the base contain bas-relief of two intertwined sea serpents. The panels on the east and west sides, offer a fluted demi-lune basin, with dog head mascaron, for the use of dogs and small animals.

A second level of rectangular panels outlined with a version of ‘egg and tongue’ moulding rise above a chamfered edge decorated with rosette fret. On two panels the bas-relief is sculptured with two swans with raised wings resting on an orb from which rises Neptune’s trident flanked by stylized flowers and bulrushes. The sculptured swans on the south side, containing the horse trough, are replaced with a large lion mascaron from which water spouts. On the north panel which hosts the drinking basin for humans, the sculpture differs, displaying only bulrushes, the leaves of which decorate the basin. Above the arched recess is ivy.

An upper and lower cornice with rosette and acanthus frieze borders a third level of panels. The bulrush theme is repeated in horizontal bas-relief. The north facing panel contains an engraved dedication, Dedicated To The Public / In Memory Of / Miss Carrie M White / Third President Of WCTU / Of Washington Territory / And First President / Of Anacortes WCTU / By The Members Thereof

The capital supports a 36″ tall statue of a maiden feeding a dove perched on her right wrist. With her left hand she gathers her robe on her hip creating a pouch that contains seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth.

The manufacturer’s stamp is visible on the octagonal base of the statue, J. W. Fiske / 26.28 Park Place / New York.

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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
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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 June 4, 2015, in Architecture, Cast Iron, J. W. Fiske, Memorial Drinking Fountain, United States of America and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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