Tag Archives: W.C.T.U.

Newtown Square Fountain

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

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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.

Glossary:

  • 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

 

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W.C.T.U. Fountain

Location: Anacortes, Washington, USA

The drinking fountain, currently situated at the intersection of 8th Street and M Avenue on the grounds of the Anacortes Museum of History (former Carnegie Library), was originally erected on the corner of 5th Street at 420 Commercial Avenue. It was donated by the Fidalgo Chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union on Sept. 13, 1906, in remembrance of Carrie M. White who was a driving force in the W.C.T.U.’s mission to provide citizens with an alternative to liquor (the town was inundated with drinking establishments at this period in history.)

In 1934 in preparation of widening of the streets the fountain was moved to Washington Park where it deteriorated over the following four decades. It was restored in 1974 and relocated to the west side of the Museum’s front steps. In 2002 repair was required to one of the dog bowls and a brass replica was created. After repainting, the fountain was moved to its present location on the northeast corner of the Museum’s grounds.

The fountain, seated on a square plinth, consisting of a square column surmounted by a statue, is 9 feet tall. The four square panels at the base contain bas-relief of two intertwined sea serpents. The panels on the east and west sides, offer a fluted demi-lune basin, with dog head mascaron, for the use of dogs and small animals.

A second level of rectangular panels outlined with a version of ‘egg and tongue’ moulding rise above a chamfered edge decorated with rosette fret. On two panels the bas-relief is sculptured with two swans with raised wings resting on an orb from which rises Neptune’s trident flanked by stylized flowers and bulrushes. The sculptured swans on the south side, containing the horse trough, are replaced with a large lion mascaron from which water spouts. On the north panel which hosts the drinking basin for humans, the sculpture differs, displaying only bulrushes, the leaves of which decorate the basin. Above the arched recess is ivy.

An upper and lower cornice with rosette and acanthus frieze borders a third level of panels. The bulrush theme is repeated in horizontal bas-relief. The north facing panel contains an engraved dedication, Dedicated To The Public / In Memory Of / Miss Carrie M White / Third President Of WCTU / Of Washington Territory / And First President / Of Anacortes WCTU / By The Members Thereof

The capital supports a 36″ tall statue of a maiden feeding a dove perched on her right wrist. With her left hand she gathers her robe on her hip creating a pouch that contains seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth.

The manufacturer’s stamp is visible on the octagonal base of the statue, J. W. Fiske / 26.28 Park Place / New York.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • 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
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

 


W.C.T.U. Fountain

Location: Spring Lake, Michigan, USA

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union donated the fountain in September 1910 to encourage quenching thirst with water instead of alcoholic beverages. Originally erected on the southeast corner of Savidge and Jackson streets it was moved several times including the backyard of a private residence. In 1988 it was restored and relocated to the current location on the east side of Jackson Street between Savidge and Exchange streets.

Over the years a lack of maintenance caused the paint to vanish and rust appeared. The village of Spring Lake agreed in 2007 that the structure should be restored with funding from a 5 year capital improvement budget. Restoration was completed by Mercene Karkadoulias Bronze Art in Cincinnati. With no paint residue to compare the fountain was painted with colours common in the 1900s. Water is now delivered by two faucets and the dog troughs are filled with water drained from the upper basins.

The original fountain was manufactured by J.L. Mott Ironworks and is casting number 12. Seated on a square plinth, the circular column contains two troughs at ground level for the use of dogs and smaller animals. An inscription on the base contains the legend, W.C.T.U. Sep. 1910. A demi-lune basin for the use of humans is located on two sides. Decorated with bas-relief in the form of fruits and acanthus leaves, the column also displays dog mascarons above the basins from which water spouted. Tin cups were suspended on chains from orbs between the dog masks. The capital is an urn surmounted with a spike.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mask/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.

 


Esther McNeill Fountain

Location: Fredonia, NYS, USA

Attached to this memorial drinking fountain, at the southwest corner of the park next to the information booth, is a dedication plaque: Esther McNeill / Crusader / 1873 / Erected By / Fredonia W.C.T.U. / 1912.

Esther McNeill was the first president of the first chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union established in 1873. During her 17 years of service she played an integral part in the introduction of a law guaranteeing that the effects of alcohol would be taught in schools. She died in 1906 at the age of 95. Held in high esteem, the fountain was dedicated to her memory on June 13, 1913 in Fredonia’s Barker Commons.

The structure cast by J.L. Mott Iron Works consists of a square central column seated on a square plinth with attic base. Receptacles on three sides consist of two small basins supported by consoles and a third demi-lune basin. A garland frieze sits beneath the capital which supports a lamp in the form of an Olympic torch with acanthus relief. A framework of bands and Corinthian columns terminates in four finials to create the form of a crown.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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
  • Corinthian Column, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

 


Rebecca at the Well Fountain

Location: Block Island, Rhode Island

Following a convention in 1874, local chapters of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union were encouraged to erect drinking fountains as an alternative to men quenching their thirst in saloons. The W.C.T.U. chapter on Block Island chose a drinking fountain surmounted by a statue of Rebecca at the Well from the J. W. Fiske Iron Works catalog. It was erected in 1896 at the intersection of Water Street, Ocean Avenue, Pilot Hill Road and Spring Street.

A square base seated on an octagonal plinth, this structure contains four small basins at each corner for the use of dogs. A dedication plaque is located between two cornices, Erected By The W.C.T.U. / Of / Block Island, Rhode Island / July 22, 1896.

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Four side panels are decorated with cusped arches. Horse troughs with floral design are offered on two panels, a fluted basin for human consumption, and the fourth panel contains a decorative design with shield and mascaron. The capital, edged with rope detail and acanthus frieze, states For God And Home And Every Land.

A classical statue of Rebecca at the Well with a grape garland in her hair is situated on an abacus. She cradles an urn tipped at an angle.

The statue has been mistakenly identified as Hebe, possibly because the W.C.T.U. used Hebe on many of their drinking fountains as she was associated with diluting wine with water. However, the statue of Hebe carries a pitcher in one hand and holds a cup in the other. The statue on Block Island is most definitely Rebecca at the Well.

Deterioration of the structure from weather, and damage as the result of motor vehicles, left the fountain in need of restoration. Having received confirmation of a federal grant to replace the Rebecca statue she was removed from the drinking fountain in April 2001 and transported to Conservation Technology Corp. in Newport. Although restoration was planned, after inspection it was decided that the zinc and iron statue, which had deteriorated due to weather erosion, would not have the structural integrity required to withstand continued exposure to the outside elements.

The statue was stripped and a plaster mold made to create a replica casting in aluminium alloy. In December 2001, the replica was set on its newly restored base at the traffic circle where High, Spring and Water streets intersect. Whereas the original statue of Rebecca faced Water Street at the ferry entrance, the ‘new’ statue was erected facing the opposite direction. It was formally dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on 7 June 2002.

The original statue which had been repaired and restored remained in a workshop for many years until funding from the Champlin Foundation allowed work to proceed on the West Gallery of the Block Island Historical Society. Rebecca at the Well moved to her new home at the West Gallery in 2014.

Glossary:

  • Abacus, at the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface
  • 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
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of two ornamental arcs or curves, such as the inner points of a trefoil
  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.