Location: New Castle, Delaware, USA
In 1897 a cast iron drinking fountain/trough situated in front of the Court House was donated to the city by Annie Newlove Burgie as a memorial to her son, Henry N. Burgie, who died in Chicago on 17 January 1886 at the age of 19.
Although a committee was formed on 5 October 1897 to install the fountain, council minutes indicate that the water supply to the structure had not yet been connected in April 1898.
The fountain was mentioned in the New Castle Gazette on 24 May 1900; “The handsome fountain donated to the city by Mrs. Annie Burgie of Chicago, former resident of this city, situated on Delaware street near the post office is yet without water. Council men are urged to attend to the matter at once.”
A bronze plaque is inscribed; Henry N. Burgie / Memorial Fountain / Erected 1900 / A Gift to the City By His Mother / Annie N. Burgie.
The year of installation inscribed on the plaque is refuted by an article published on October 21, 1897 in the Delaware Gazette and State Journal; “The drinking fountain recently donated by Miss Anna Burgie of Chicago, Ill., a former resident of this city, was placed in position yesterday and the finishing touches given to it, about 10 minutes before the arrival here of the donor. The work was under the supervision of Col. J. Harry Hogers.”
It is believed that installation of a dedication plaque discussed by council in 1909 never matured. The current plaque was installed on the fountain through the efforts of the grand nephews and grand niece of Annie Newlove Burgie on 29 March 1978.
The fountain was modernized in September 1940 when a bubbler was placed in the fountain; and in 1969, as reported by the New Castle Gazette, the fountain was painted by Edward Wise.
The drinking fountain is a pattern from J. W. Fiske Iron Works, and a maker’s plate is attached to the structure which consists of a two tiered octagonal base decorated with bands of foliate frieze and horizontal reeding also offers small troughs at ground level for dogs and smaller animals. The pedestal supports a large gadrooned trough for the use of horses. A spigot originally projected from a bas-relief rosette which supplied water to a smaller fluted basin for human consumption. A cornice of egg and dart moulding is located beneath the capital which supports a capped urn.
Many thanks to Fred Lauzus who furnished current photographs of the fountain and who assisted in the research of this structure. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
- Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
- 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
- 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