Tag Archives: Woman’s Christian Temperance Union

Cornwall’s Drinking Fountains

Location: Cornwall, ON, Canada

In 1892 a chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) opened in Cornwall. This organization which encouraged abstinence from alcohol was also concerned with animal rights. In order to achieve this fundamental principle they were pioneers in donating combination drinking fountains/troughs with fresh drinking water for man and beast.

In 1908 a fountain erected at Fourth Street West and Pitt Street was presented to the town by the W.C.T.U. It was still operational in the 1940s. A dedication plaque was engraved, Presented To The / Town Of Cornwall / By The Ladies / Of The / W.C.T.U. / 1908.

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Note that the base of the structure has been encased in concrete, concealing some of the details. Image Source: http://www.standard-freeholder.com/2017/04/26/cornwall-in-1907-16—-our-place-in-canadas-150#

Another drinking fountain was installed the following year (1909) in front of the old post office at Second and Pitt streets. The September 17, 1909 edition of the Cornwall Standard reported: The water was turned on at the new drinking fountain at the Post Office Cornwall (Pitt and 2nd)…and is now available for quenching the thirst of both man and beast. The new fountain, which replaces the one that has done service for a number of years, was presented to the town by the ladies of the W.C.T.U., who are having one placed at the North End, on Pitt St. The new fountain is larger and of more ornate design. The ladies of the W.C.T.U. are entitled to the thanks of the community for their thoughtful and generous gift.

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The Court House at the intersection of Water and Pitt streets was also the location of a drinking fountain. It was dedicated to the memory of Judge Jacob Farrand Pringle who had served as Mayor of Cornwall in 1855 and 1856. As the date of its installation is unknown it is assumed that it was erected after his death in 1901. This drinking fountain differed from the others and photographic evidence is not sufficient to establish the manufacturer or design.

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Court House at Water and Pitt Streets. Fountain is visible at the left edge of image.

The two cast iron drinking fountains at 2nd and 4th streets were manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. Seated on a square base with a small demi-lune basin at ground level for dogs to drink, the pedestal contained a panel on each of four sides decorated with an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner was bound with a highly decorated pilaster. A large trough for horses jutted into the street.

The bottom edge of the square central column was decorated with egg and dart moulding. Tall rectangular inset panels contained 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 hosted a basin for human use, and contained a lion mascaron which spouted water to be captured using a tin cup suspended on a chain.

A frieze of flora decorated the capital which originally supported an elaborately decorated urn capped with an orb and pineapple finial (symbolic of friendship and hospitality).

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
  • 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
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Hebe Fountain

Location: Roseburg, Oregon, USA

The temperance movement which began in the early 19th century advocated moderation in alcohol consumption. The belief that alcohol was responsible for many of society’s ills made this social movement popular around the world. In Roseburg, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the Mental Culture Club now known as the Roseburg’s Women’s Club, donated a fountain to the city as an alternative to quenching thirsts in saloons.

The 12 foot high fountain surmounted by a statue of Hebe was erected on the corner of Cass Avenue and Main St. contrary to the Mayor’s concern that it would be a traffic hazard. It was dedicated on September 30, 1908 and provided water for horses and dogs in addition to humans. Four years later the Mayor was proven correct when a team of runaway horses pulling a wagon crashed into the fountain toppling the statue. The fountain was removed and the statue lost.

In 2002 during planning of the restoration of historic Roseburg Town Center the Park Commission recommended that a replica of the fountain be placed in Eagles Park. Fundraising by a local group assisted in the erection of the fountain in the park on Jackson Street. It was dedicated on 30 September 2007 and unveiled by Roseburg Mayor Larry Rich who took the first drink from the fountain.

The original structure cast by J. L. Mott Iron Works was seated on a square base with pilasters on each corner. Two small demi-lune basins were located at ground level for the use of dogs, and at the front was a large trough to accommodate horses. The bas-relief enrichment on the trough was also displayed on the three base panels. The pedestal contained four inset panels with lion mascarons, and on three sides were demi-lune basins for human use. The terminal was a statue of Hebe, classically dressed, holding a pitcher at her right side and a cup in her raised left hand.

A plaque with legend relating the history of the ‘Hebe’ fountain is at the rear of the current structure.

Glossary:

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • 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
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Diehl Fountain

Location: Frederick, Maryland, USA

Miss Marie Diehl, known for her commitment to animal welfare, was a founding member of the Frederick Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, currently known as the Frederick Humane Society.

After Marie’s death in 1907, it was decided to erect a drinking fountain in her honour. Controversy over the best location was resolved when the People’s Fire Insurance Company donated property at the corner of North Court and West Church Streets. The design was selected from J. L. Mott Iron Works catalog by the local branch of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union who donated it to the city. The fountain was formally dedicated to Marie Diehl on August 17, 1911.

The 12-feet high structure was seated on a square base. Two small demi-lune basins were located at ground level for the use of dogs. Four inset panels with highly decorated pilasters displayed an orb surrounded by flourish. On one side was a large trough to accommodate horses, and on the opposite side was a basin for the use of humans. The terminal was a statue of Hebe, classically dressed, holding a pitcher at her right side and a cup in her raised left hand.

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With the advent of the motor vehicle, there was less need for horse troughs and the water fountains were removed. The statue then fell into disrepair and crashed to the ground in November 1947. The entire structure was removed and stored at the City Light Plant on the corner of East Street and East Second Street. When the plant was sold in 1972, the remnants of the statue were recognized and brought to the attention of the Historical Society of Frederick County. The statue, restored by David Mantell, stands on a piece of the original base and is now located in the garden of Steiner House, the headquarters of the Frederick Women’s Civic Club.

BAS-RELIEF

The City of Frederick commissioned Charles C. Crum III to design a fountain for Carroll Creek Linear Park which was officially opened in 2006. Wanting to recognize the City’s history, Crum started work on a design that would highlight the ‘lost’ Marie Diehl drinking fountain. With the original purpose of the fountain uppermost in his mind, he created a fountain for humans and animals using a few remaining pieces of the original fountain.

To highlight the original fountain, a 6 foot tall bas-relief was created by sculptor, Antonio Tobias Mendes, which depicted the fountain and the statue of Hebe as it existed in 1911.

As a generous benefactor of the project, the Green-walled Garden Club officially opened the fountain with the City of Frederick on 19 July 2007. A dedication plaque is positioned above the fountain.

Diehl Memorial Fountain

The Original Memorial, Unveiled On August 17, 1911 / Was Dedicated To The Humane Efforts Of Marie Diehl (1855-1907) / A Founder Of The Frederick Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals / Now The Frederick Humane Society.

The 12-Foot Tall Monument Depicted Hebe, The Greek Goddess / Of Youth And Spring, And Featured Drinking Fountains “For Man And Beast.” / In Addition To A Fountain For People, There Was A Large Basin For Horses / And Two On The Sides For Dogs And Cats.

The Bas-Relief Here Portrays The Original Memorial Where It Stood / At The Corner Of Church And Court Streets. And, In That Monument’s Tradition / These Fountains Are “To Furnish Refreshing Drink” To The Citizens Of Frederick / And Their Beloved Animals.

Glossary:

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

W.C.T.U. Fountain

Location: Reno City, Nevada, USA

On October 17, 1908, a drinking fountain commissioned by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the American Red Cross was dedicated to the veterans of the Spanish-American War. It was erected at the southwest corner of Plaza and North Virginia Streets in Reno.

The Temperance movement which began in the early 19th century advocated moderation in alcohol consumption. The belief that alcohol was responsible for many of society’s ills made this social movement popular, and in 1904 the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union encouraged local chapters to erect fresh water fountains in public venues. The strategy of offering a free source of water (and thereby quenching ‘the thirst of all of God’s creatures’) to men, their horses and dogs had the intention of refraining men from entering saloons.

The fourteen-foot cast iron drinking fountain stood on a square plinth with gable ends. Four panels were available for dedication: Presented To / The City Of Reno By The W.C.T.U. / And Red Cross Society / In Memory Of / The Nevada Volunteers.

An acroter supports a square pedestal with decorative frieze. Four panels with triangular arches on each side offer further space for memorial. Crossed swords, with the number 1, visible on two sides represent the First Calvary Volunteers of Nevada, which fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War of 1898. The Red Cross symbol, displayed in the two remaining panels, honors the organization’s work in caring for wounded veterans.

A fluted column with attic base and volute contains two consoles with round glass globes. The finial is a third glass globe. The water trough for horses is located beneath a Red Cross symbol. There are two basins for human consumption; each is mounted beneath a panel containing the symbol of crossed swords. A demilune basin at ground level for dogs is also visible.

The structure was removed from the original site in 1932 to be replaced with a Flying A gasoline station. The fountain was relocated to the front of the California Building in Idlewild Park where it’s only use was as a receptacle for garbage.

In 2003, the Reno City Council provided funding for restoration of the fountain and the relocation of the fountain to the Amtrak train station. After four years of restoration under the leadership of Neal Cobb and David Hollecker, it was rededicated and can now be found in the waiting room at the track level of the station. A wall display offers information and photographs of the fountain, the Temperance movement and historic images of the Southern Pacific railway station.

Glossary:

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Volute, a spiral scroll-like ornament found in the capital of a column