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Temperance Water Fountain

Location: Riverside, California, USA

Standing outside the Riverside Metropolitan Museum on Mission Inn Avenue and Orange Street is a replica of the drinking fountain donated to the City of Riverside in 1907 by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. It was originally installed in front of the YMCA building on University Avenue and Lemon Street. The original statue has been restored and is preserved inside the Museum.

Design #209 by J. W. Fiske, seated on a square plinth, consists of a square column surmounted by a statue. The four square panels at the base contain bas-relief of two intertwined sea serpents. Panels on two sides at ground level offer a fluted demi-lune basin with dog head mascaron for the use of dogs and small animals.

johnpedroza

Used with permission, John Pedroza. Source: http://www.johnpedroza.com/blog1/rmm/

A second level of rectangular panels outlined with a version of ‘egg and tongue’ moulding rise above a chamfered edge decorated with rosette fret. Sculptured bas-relief on each panel displays stylized flowers with bulrushes and ivy around a central lunette containing a design of four palmettes. The lunette on one panel is substituted by a drinking basin for humans decorated with bulrush leaves.

flickr475_jeff

Used with permission, John Pedroza. Source: http://www.johnpedroza.com/blog1/rmm/

The capital supports an abacus with inscription, Presented To The City/ By The / W.C.T.U. Of Riverside / 1907. The structure, surmounted by a 36″ tall statue of a maiden feeding a dove perched on her right wrist, is identified as #226 Maiden with Bird. With her left hand she gathers her robe on her hip, her head is tilted slightly back, and she holds a seed in her mouth. The sculpture is attributed to George Fischer, bronze founder. The manufacturer’s stamp is visible on the octagonal base of the statue, J. W. Fiske / 26.28 Park Place / New York.

Glossary:

  • Abacus, at the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface
  • 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
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design

 

Myers Drinking Fountain

Location: Savannah, Georgia, USA

In 1897 Mayor Herman Myers donated a drinking fountain to the City for use by humans. It was erected in Forsyth Park. The single column pedestal was 9’ 5” tall with drinking basins and faucets. A multi-tiered acroter supported a 36″ tall statue of a maiden feeding a dove. The sculpture is attributed to bronze founder, George Fischer and cast by J.W. Fiske, identified as Girl Feeding Bird #226. A bird perches on her right wrist as she gathers a tunic at her left hip with her left hand creating a pouch containing seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth. The fountain was removed from Forsyth Park in the 1980’s.

In 1983 a structure resembling the lower portion of the original fountain was installed at Troup Square. Whether the fountain was re-engineered or the base reproduced is uncertain. The current fountain is seated on a square base with a single pedestal containing four inset panels. Each panel displays a stylized floral pattern and on two sides at ground level is a demi basin for small animals. A multi-level acroter supports an enclosed vase with orb terminal.

An annual ceremony known as the Blessing of Pets is held each October 4th (the Feast of St. Francis, Patron Saint of animals) at the fountain.

Glossary

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

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Ligonier Fountain

Location: Ligonier, Pennsylvania, USA.

The research for this fountain was very interesting as it is linked to two other fountains. Although the drinking fountains themselves are not identical the terminals for all three hosted the same statue. A mold of the statue in Ligonier was cast to assist in the restoration of the fountains in Harrisonburg, PA and Babylon, NY.

Fundraising for a drinking fountain began in 1913 and on 21 June 1921 the structure was donated by the Ligonier Volunteer Hose Company #1. The fountain was 10 feet tall and provided drinking water for humans, dogs and horses. It was advertised as Man and Beast Fountain #209 by Stewart Iron Works Kentucky. It is located at the north side of the inner diamond facing North Market Street.

A square base with four short columns supported a dog toothed acroter. Rosettes were carved into each panel between the columns. A single column pedestal contained four inset panels displaying two swans with raised wings that rested on an orb from which rose Neptune’s trident flanked by stylized flowers and bulrushes. Three sides of the structure contained a drinking vessel. At ground level there was a small trough for dogs surmounted by a sculptured dog kennel. A second kennel was also located on an adjacent side. A wide and deep trough decorated with acanthus was available for the use of horses. A dolphin like fish released water from its mouth into the horse trough. A small basin for humans was decorated with large leaf pattern on the underside.

A multi-tiered acroter supporting a 36″ tall statue of a woman feeding a dove is identified as Girl Feeding Bird #226. A bird perches on her right wrist as she gathers a tunic at her left hip with her left hand creating a pouch containing seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth. The sculpture is attributed to bronze founder, George Fischer. The original colour scheme was green paint on the female figure and white paint on the bird.

The deep horse trough was removed circa 1999 due to concerns of possible drowning if a child fell in. Four years later in the winter of 2003, a State Department of Transportation vehicle destroyed the structure when the snow blade hit the fountain. The remains of the fountain were removed and stored in a garage until Stewart Iron Works was hired to repair it.

In 2009 the fountain was shipped to Stewart Iron Works in Covington, KY to be dismantled , cleaned and castings made for a replica in Babylon, Long Island, NY.

It was returned to Town Square in 2010, and a brass plaque was mounted documenting the donation by Ligonier Volunteer Hose Co. No. 1 firefighters in 1921.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base

 

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