Category Archives: United States of America

Brattleboro Drinking Fountain/Horse Trough

Location: Brattleboro, Vermont, USA

A cast iron drinking fountain for the use of man and beast was erected on the corner of Main Street and High Street in July 1872. It was located near the old oak tree in the hope that the water source would discourage the consumption of beer and alcohol. In 1875 complaints that there was little water flow may have been the reason that its usage declined.

Photographic evidence reveals that the fountain was still in place in 1907. The date when it was replaced with a fire hydrant is unknown as is the fate of the fountain.

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The manufacturer of the cast iron octagonal pedestal fountain which offered a supply of drinking water to humans, horses and smaller animals is unknown. Inset arched panels and rosettes decorated the pedestal. A fluted, recessed, demi-lune basin with a cup suspended on a chain offered a drinking receptacle for humans. On the opposite side a fluted trough was offered for the refreshment of horses. Water flowed from lion mascarons into the horse trough and the small fluted demi-lune basin situated at ground level for the convenience of dogs.

same model

This fountain in San Francisco is the same model but manufacturer is unknown

Glossary:

  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • 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
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design

 


Centennial Fountain

Location: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA

In 1899 a sandstone drinking fountain was installed in the square outside Franklin Hall on Main Street. It was donated and maintained by the Women’s Club of Mechanicsburg. However, by 1906 it had deteriorated, and a decision was made to replace it in celebration of the upcoming Mechanicsburg Centennial celebrations. The new fountain was erected in front of Franklin Hall in 1907 following a successful campaign of public subscriptions.

1908 franklin hall

The fountain is just visible near the tree in this grainy image

franklin

In 1926 Franklin Hall was demolished and the following year the First Bank and Trust Company was built on the site. A motion to remove the fountain, as it no longer served its original purpose due to the advent of the motor vehicle, was recommended and passed. It is unknown what happened to the fountain at this point in history although it is likely that it was put into storage.

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During celebrations of the United States Bicentennial in 1976, the cast iron drinking fountain was restored and installed on the lawn behind the Washington Fire Company No. 1’s firehouse. It remains there today with noticeable deterioration and damage.

 

The cast iron structure which was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York offered water to man and beast. Seated on a square base with a small demi-lune basin at ground level for dogs to drink, the pedestal contains a panel on each of four sides decorated with an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner is bound with a highly decorated pilaster. A large fluted trough for horses which jutted into the street was fed with overflow water from a small demi-lune basin via a shallow moat.

The bottom edge of the square central column is decorated with egg and dart moulding. Tall rectangular inset panels contain the head of a Naiad. In Greek mythology, a Naiad was a female water nymph who guarded fountains, wells, and other bodies of fresh water. The fourth panel hosts a basin for human use, and contains a lion mascaron which spouted water to be captured using a tin cup suspended on a chain.

A frieze of flora decorates the capital which originally supported an elaborately decorated urn capped with an orb and acorn motif symbolizing that the roots of a family or institution are old and deep. The cap and finial are currently missing and the urn is damaged.

A plaque is inscribed; Erected By The Efforts Of The Women’s Club Of Mechanisburg, August 14, 1907, To Commemorate The Centennial Of The Borough.

1907 ebay

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • 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
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure

Tornado Memorial Park Fountain

Location: Monticello, IN, USA

The drinking fountain located in Tornado Memorial Park was originally situated outside the old White County Courthouse which was demolished following one of the worst tornadoes in U.S. history.

On 3 April 1974, 148 tornadoes formed in a 24 hour period. A tornado spawned by an intense supercell thunderstorm struck Monticello ravaging the central business district and destroying most of the downtown. The roof of the historic courthouse built in 1894 was ripped off and the clock tower toppled. The tornado was later classified as an F4.

The Tornado Memorial Park was completed in 2010 featuring the drinking fountain which had once stood in front of the courthouse.

The drinking fountain is casting #14 by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. It has a circular base with a trough for dogs at street level and a short bulbous pillar with flora design. The cornice, decorated with acanthus frieze, sits beneath the capital which originally supported a finial resembling a crown. A lion mascaron spouts water into a fluted basin designed for human use. A large trough for horses is located on the opposite side.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal

 


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.

Hudson-Fulton Monument

Location: Beacon, New York State, USA

As part of the town’s tribute to the 300th anniversary of the Hudson-Fulton celebration of 1909*, Reverend Thomas Elliott, a retired clergyman, initiated a memorial fund from public donations to purchase a fountain.
(*The 300th anniversary celebration of explorer Henry Hudson’s journey up the Hudson River, and the 100th birthday of inventor and engineer Robert Fulton’s trip on the same river in his steamboat Clermont.)

Installation of the fountain was delayed due to tardy donations and electrical issues (lights were installed on the north and south sides of the memorial to mirror passing vessels which were lit up at dusk.) The unveiling and dedication eventually took place on June 19, 1911 at the location of Bank Square.

A circular granite base incorporated a trough for horses and a smaller trough at ground level for the use of dogs. The cast iron structure seated on a square granite block was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The bronzed iron pedestal supported a statue of Hebe.

google books
On alternate sides of the base, there is a lunette containing a lion mascaron within armoria, flanked by acanthus, and an inscription in bas-relief; Hudson-Fulton 1909. The pedestal which repeated the mascaron with fleur de lys, originally supported two consoles bearing globe lanterns. A laurel frieze is situated beneath the cornice.

The capital supports a statue of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, classically dressed in flowing robes. Standing contrapposto she holds a pitcher at her right side and a bowl in her raised left hand. The figure was sculpted by Bertel Thorwaldsen.

Hebe_Thorvaldsen Bertel
Following the advent of the automobile, the need for horse watering troughs declined, and in 1927 the fountain was removed. The statue and pedestal were placed in storage.
Four years later in 1931, the West End Men’s Community Club petitioned for the resurrection of the statue. It was erected facing the river on a triangular plot of land near the southeast corner of Verplanck Avenue and Willow Street which was donated by Mrs. Lewis Tompkins.

Restoration and bronzing of the statue was undertaken by Tallix, Inc. in 2000.

Glossary
• Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
• Armoria, shield, coat of arms, crest
• 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
• Console, a decorative bracket support element
• Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
• Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
• Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
• 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
• Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue


Bascom Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Prospect Park Troy, NYS, USA

Henry Clay Bascom was a prominent business man, owner of the Vedder Pattern Works, a candidate for Governor of New York State, and a well-known Prohibitionist. His wife, Ellen Lucina Forbes Bascom, was a member and president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of Lansingburg, New York. She donated a drinking fountain to the City of Troy in memory of her husband, I wish to tender hereby to the city of Troy a memorial to the late H. Clay Bascom to take the form of a drinking fountain for man and beast to be erected in Prospect Park, where I trust its pure and cooling waters may symbolize the principles which were so dear to the one whose memory it will commemorate.”

It was erected in Prospect Park in 1907 south of the Warren mansion on the west side of Prospect Avenue. An engraved dedication on the front of the fountain read: H. Clay Bascom Memorial Fountain, Presented to the City of Troy by Ellen F. Bascom, 1907.

The 15’ 3” tall cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York was seated on a square base. A large fluted demi-lune trough for horses was located at the front of the fountain with a trough for dogs at ground level which was filled with overflow water.

On four sides, there was a lunette containing a lion mascaron within armoria, flanked by acanthus. Two demi-lune basins on opposite sides offered refreshment to humans; and anchored adjacent to the basins were drinking cups suspended on chains. Faucets were operated by pressing metal buttons which released a flow of water over a system of coils encased in ice to provide cool refreshment. A column extending above repeated the mascaron with fleur de lys. A laurel frieze was situated beneath the cornice. (In 1908 a citizen donated two consoles bearing globe lanterns.)

The capital supported a statue of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, classically dressed in flowing robes.  Standing contrapposto she held a pitcher at her right side and a bowl in her raised left hand. The figure five feet in height was sculpted by Bertel Thorwaldsen.

Deterioration of the cast iron structure prompted its removal in 1943.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Armoria, shield, coat of arms, crest
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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

 

troy-ny-bascom-fountain-kids-c1910-postcard

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Armoria, shield, coat of arms, crest
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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

 


Neff Fountain

Location: Auburn, California, USA

The 15-foot-high drinking fountain was donated to the City of Auburn in 1908 by Jacob Neff, Lieutenant Governor of California. The local man had at one time been a Sheriff of Placer County. Originally erected in the intersection of Lincoln Way and Maple Street, it was removed in 1976 when it became a hindrance to automobile traffic, and construction of the Auburn Folsom Road required relocation of the fountain to its current site at the corner of the Lincoln Way and Maple Street outside Placer County Courthouse.

In 2013, following inspection of the structure it was discovered that rust was threatening the integrity of the fountain. A restoration project was approved with funding to be provided by the Placer County Historical Society through fundraising efforts. The project required the fountain to be dismantled and shipped to a restoration company.

Currently per 2016, the fountain is used as a garden centerpiece with flowering plants in the original troughs.

Originally seated on a square plinth, the cast iron structure is an octagonal design with two small basins at ground level to allow dogs to drink. Eight inlaid panels offered two large troughs to quench the thirst of horses and cattle, a single demi–lune basin for human consumption with a drinking cup suspended on a chain, and a dedication plaque; the inscription reads: Presented / To The / City Of Auburn / By / Hon. Jacob H. Neff / 1908. The capital supports a lamp pedestal with a central lantern flanked by four elaborate consoles supporting glass globes.

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Glossary

  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.