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.
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.
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.
• 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