Location: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
A branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) which was formed in Lunenburg in 1890 advocated moderation in alcohol consumption and a concern for animal welfare. The society’s ‘Kindness to Animals’ movement was activated by the junior branch of the W.C.T.U. to alleviate the thirst of oxen and horses that stood for hours in the market place after pulling heavy loads of wood and produce into the town.
A proposal by the society to erect a drinking fountain with ox-troughs at the intersection of Falkland and Lincoln Streets was accepted. The fountain was presented to the town in 1911, and accepted by Mayor J. J. Kinley on behalf of the citizens.
Temperance Fountain /This Fountain Was Presented In 1911 By The / Women’s Christian Temperance Union Of Lunenburg / To Quench The Thirst Of The Customer / And Their Horses And Oxen / At The Nearby Marketplace. / The Fountain Flowed For More Than 30 Years / Until Traffic Patterns Changed / Dedicated October 1911 By Mayor J. J. Kinley / Rededicated October 1995 By Mayor D. L. Mawhinney / A Project Of The Lunenburg Heritage Society
The manufacturer of the cast iron fountain is unknown although the crane sculpture was frequently used by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York.
The original design consisted of a square pedestal base to support the structure. On each side a panel is decorated with bas-relief with a large trough for animals on two sides. The base, which is missing in this example, may have been removed or buried; hence the reason the troughs are at ground level.
The capital supports a circular pillar with attic base and lion head mascarons on four sides which spouted water into the troughs. Drinking cups suspended on chains allowed humans to drink from the flowing water.
A dedication plaque is secured to the east side. A sculpture of cranes standing amongst water reeds sits beneath the lamp post.
- 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
- 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