Category Archives: Memorial Drinking Fountain

Paterson Memorial Clock

Location: Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, Scotland

The Memorial Clock and Drinking Fountain located on Henderson Street was erected in 1898 by public subscription to commemorate gratitude for Dr. Alexander Paterson’s service to the town.

Dr. Paterson was a doctor and Medical Officer of Health for the burgh in addition to being a Justice of the Peace. His realised dream of creating a health resort originated from his belief in the therapeutic waters in the area.

In June 1929, the two ton drinking fountain and clock was relocated a few yards west to allow for road widening. The structure was fitted with electricity in 1930.

Restoration of the structure was undertaken in 2009 with a fresh coat of green paint and gold leaf. The clock was refurbished by James Ritchie and Sons, Clockmakers.

Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow drinking fountain number 231 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue stands 20 feet high. Originally seated on a double tiered square plinth, the square pedestal with Egyptian patterned frieze, designed by Alexander ‘Greek” Thomson, offers a demi-lune basin. A spigot within the geometric pattern released water into the basin, and a drinking cup attached to a chain was suspended from a decorative console.

The griffin feet capitals support a four sided central stanchion heavily decorated with palmette and acanthus relief on three sides. The fourth side contains an engraved dedication; The Paterson Memorial / Erected By The Inhabitants Of Bridge Of Allan / And Others In Memory Of The Late / Dr. Alexander Paterson / Who Practised In This District For Upwards Of 50 Years / And Who Was Medical Officer Of Health For The Burgh / He Was Held In Universal Esteem / Being A Skilful Physician And A Kind Friend / 1898.

A fluted column with attic base arises from a highly decorated acroter. The structure is capped with a clock face on four sides.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of water (tap)
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

Queen Street Drinking Fountain

Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

To commemorate the centenary of the founding of the Province of Upper Canada, a cast iron drinking fountain was unveiled on Queen Street outside the Niagara Court House on July 16, 1892.

A large underground cistern beneath the drinking fountain supplied water for fire-fighting in the mid 19th century.

The fountain consists of a rectangular pedestal with a square chamfered base decorated with a form of egg and dart frieze. A panel on all four sides contains the stylized pattern of a flower. Beneath the cornice facing the sidewalk is a metal dedication plaque; Erected 1892 / In Commemoration Of The Founding / Of The Province Of Upper / Canada July 16 1792.  The side facing the street offers a small basin for dogs. The capital supports a small fluted basin currently operated with a bubbler type tap.

Glossary:

  • Bubbler, a fountain with a tap which ejects a stream of water
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

 


300th Post

The post for the Saavedra drinking fountain dated July 24, 2017 denotes the 300th drinking fountain that I have successfully researched. I am so proud to have reached this milestone.

When I first decided to write this blog, I had no idea that so many cast iron fountains survived throughout the world. It seems strange that a metal prone to rusting would be chosen to manufacture drinking fountains when these structures were intended to be placed outdoors in an oxygen rich environment with the purpose of providing drinking water (oxygen and water creates a chemical reaction in cast iron known as rust).

These cast iron structures and monuments are now being recognized as historic artifacts, and are being restored with public and government funding.

The invaluable assistance generously given by John P. Bolton of the Scottish Ironwork Foundation has been instrumental in ensuring the accuracy of my research. My appreciation of his guidance is immeasurable. I would also like to thank all the photographers who have granted permission to use their photos.

 


Castleford Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Castleford, Yorkshire, England

Queen’s Park was created in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The fountain was installed in 1898. The bandstand which was built in 1900 remains; however, vandalism precipitated the removal of the drinking fountain in the 1950s.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure was 9 feet 6 inches high and consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst,’ or optional memorial shields. On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure was surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The fountain was operated by pressing a button.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • 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
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Parker Memorial Fountain

Location: Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

The drinking fountain/horse trough currently located at Vincent Street and Central Springs Road near the old post office is a replica of a 19th century structure originally erected at Burke Square at the intersection of Vincent and Albert Streets.

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Source: Facebook/DaylesfordHepburnoldphotos

The fountain was donated to the town by Mr. George W. Parker, Mayor of the Borough, in commemoration of his year of office. It was obtained through Messrs. John Dank & Son, Melbourne, and delivered by ship from England. The 15 feet high structure was formally presented on 17 June 1891.

In 1914 complaints were made by carters due to a lack of water flow which was not enough to allow horses to drink. It was discovered that this issue was caused when several teams of horses drank in succession. A ball tap was installed to correct the problem.

The following year in March, the maintenance crew reported that the taps in the fountain at Burke Square were constantly being broken by children. An additional health issue of the cups hanging in the horse troughs resulted in the cups being removed. It is unknown when the drinking fountain itself was removed.

As part of the Daylesford Streetscape Revitalisation Project in 2012, a replica of the historical horse trough was installed at its original location in Burke Square.

The original drinking fountain was design #27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was advertised as well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with small basins for dogs at ground level. The trough was a 6’6” diameter circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The water was regulated by a small patent cistern, which was self-acting, and when the troughs were full the ball rose and shut the water off.

The central stanchion supported a central column with flared bases and pilasters. Four projecting consoles suspended cups on chains that allowed humans to drink from spouting water (the water flow was operated with two bib valves which released water when pressed). Horses drank from the large basin.

A dedication shield located directly above the consoles was adhered to the fluted shaft. The decorative capital, enriched with acanthus and rosette with a dog tooth frieze, supported a central gas lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown.

walking melbourne 

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Dog tooth, pyramid shaped carving
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire, Scotland

The Victorian cast iron drinking fountain located at Victoria Gardens was originally located beside the Caledonian Canal at Fountain Cottage and relocated when Fountain Cottage was sold by the Caledonian Canal Company. It was erected to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee of 60 Years.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette host the left facing bust of Queen Victoria with an inscription using raised metal letters, Victoria Jubilee 1837-1897. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the standard finial was a crown with a pattée cross. However, the absence of the crown may indicate that the canopy supported a lamp (I have been unable to find an image of the structure in its original location.)

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 7), 5 feet 8 inches high. The terminal was a crane which is now missing. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The fountain was operated by pressing a button.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

 

Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • 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
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


J. Fitzhugh Thornton Memorial Fountain

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

The drinking fountain topped with the statue of an Indian is located at the traffic circle at Thorton Avenue & Gracely Drive (known as Thornton Triangle) in the Saylor Park neighborhood. It is known by several names: J. Fitzhugh Thornton Memorial, the Fernbank Indian, Sayler Park Indian, and Tecumseh after the Shawnee leader who led the resistance against the American settlement of the Ohio and Indiana territories in the early 19th century.

It was erected on January 15, 1912 in the village of Fernbank in memory of John Fitzhugh Thornton by his wife Eliza. It was dedicated on June 22, 1912.

The flood of 1937, which followed the wettest January ever recorded, left 100,000 people homeless. It also left the drinking fountain partially submerged.

In 1940 the structure was struck by a car knocking the statue to the ground. Believed to be irreparable, it was sold to an antiques dealer in Indiana for $10. After a public outcry, funds were raised to purchase the statue from the dealer, and it was reinstalled on April 14, 1941 facing River Road until residents complained that it was facing in the wrong direction.

In 1965 it was again hit by a car causing damage and resurrected on Feb. 9, 1966 with substandard repairs allowing rust to cause deterioration of the statue. A call to restore it in 1979 was not heeded until 2000 when the park department decided to recast the statue in bronze. It was rededicated on October 5, 2003. The statue has been designated a local historic landmark by the City of Cincinnati.

The statue of an Indian was originally a wood carving created by Samuel Anderson Robb who was the leading cigar store Indian peddler. It was carved for William Demuth & Co. who cast it in zinc and advertised it in his catalog as “No. 53 Indian Chief.” In 1873, the J.L. Mott Iron Works purchased the design and listed it in their catalog of statuary. The statue was also offered atop a cast iron drinking fountain.

The fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works and sat on a circular plinth with dimensions of 5ft. 9ins. to the top of the head and 6ft. 6ins. to the top of the feathers. A large square base contained panels for dedication on four sides; the panel at the front of the structure contains the legend,  Erected In Memory Of / J. Fitzhugh Thornton / By His Wife / Eliza M. Thornton / January 15, 1912. Above is a lunette containing a frieze with lion mascarons. A column extends above with laurel decoration and guilloche. The capital supports the Indian figure.

In his right hand the Indian Chief holds an arrow, and in his left hand he holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balances the sculpture. He is dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

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Glossary

  • Capital, The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Guilloche, Decorative engraving technique of two or more bands twisted over each other in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern
  • Lunette, The half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • 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.