Justin F. Mackenzie Drinking Fountain

Location: Woodstock, VT, USA

In 1889 a drinking fountain for horses was erected on Elm Street at the junction with Central Street (this area was known as the Village Square). It was donated by the Honourable Justin F. Mackenzie to supply drinking water to man and beast toiling together with cart and stagecoach.

Ten years earlier he was the owner of a local textile factory and a lumber mill who later represented Vermont in the House of Representatives in 1884. His efforts to supply the village with drinking water were realized with the charter of the Woodstock Aqueduct company which supplied water from a local reservoir to 30 hydrants.

Justin and his wife were members and benefactors of the American Humane Education Society, and their interest in the welfare of animals was sustained when their son Frank created the Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society in honour of his wife.

The cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works was seated on an octagonal base with chamfered corners. Four small basins at ground level allowed dogs to drink, and two large fluted troughs to quench the thirst of horses and cattle. A plaque at ground level was inscribed; Presented To / The Village Of Woodstock / By / Justin F. Mackenzie / 1889.

Eight panels, surmounted with scalloped arches, hosted dolphin masks from which water spouted into four demi-lune basins decorated with laurel leaves. Anchored adjacent to the basin were drinking cups suspended on chains. A square central column displayed cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner was bound with a highly decorated pilaster.

The capital supported an urn flanked by two elaborate consoles supporting glass lanterns with open-winged bird finials. The highly decorated urn was capped with an orb and crown finial which resembled an acorn motif symbolizing that the roots of a family or institution are old and deep.


  • Capital
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: