WCTU Drinking Fountains
At the 1874 organizing convention of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the members were urged to erect drinking fountains in their towns so that men could get a drink of water without entering saloons and staying for stronger drinks. Often the drinking fountains that were erected offered a place for horses to drink, another place for dogs, and of course, a place for humans to drink.
Many of the fountains erected by Local WCTU Unions are still in existence - some still giving water; and a number have been restored within the last few years. A few remain in their original location, but many have been moved to parks or other public spaces.
The enduring permanance of the WCTU fountains is attested to by this photo taken on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa, California after the 1904 earthquake. The caption
reads: "The only thing on 4th St. that remains intact."
A booklet with stories and pictures is available from email@example.com for $5.95 plus postage and handling.
Here is the list of the fountains that have been identified. If you know of the existence of another one, please contact Sarah Ward by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are adding images of the fountains as they become available. Click the underlined LINK of a city to view a photo in a new window. Close the window when finished to return to the list.
** Newly identified after printing of booklet
|Canada: ||Brockville, Bracebridge ** Kingston, and Quebec City|
|California: ||Arcata, ** Burbank, Fowler, ** Glendora, Hanford, Madera, Ontario, Orange, Petaluma, Reedley, Riverside,
|Delaware: ||Rehoboth Beach|
|Florida: ||St. Petersburg Museum of History|
|Georgia: ||** Atlanta, Griffin|
|Illinois: ||Chicago, Decatur, Dixon, ** Harvey, Sullivan|
|Iowa: ||Edgewood, Shenandoah|
|Louisiana: ||Baton Rouge|
|Massachusetts: ||Amherst, Brockton, ** Conway, Hadley, Lee, Leominster, North Attleboro, Orange,
|Michigan: ||Detroit, Lansing, Lapeer, ** Spring Lake |
|Nebraska: ||Red Cloud|
|New Jersey: ||Cranbury, Newton, Ocean City, Salem|
|New Mexico: ||Las Vegas|
|New York: ||Allegheny, Avon, Chautauqua, Churchville, Fredonia|
|North Carolina: ||Greensboro|
|Oregon: || ** La Grande, Roseburg|
|Pennsylvania: ||Bellefonte, ** Coudersport, Pen Argyl, Reading|
|Rhode Island: ||Block Island, Cranston, Kingston|
|Washington: ||Anacortes, Olympia||
Newly Discovered Fountains
The first new fountain to be identified since the booklet was printed is located in Spring Lake, Michigan.
The City Council has restored the fountain,
given in 1910, restored and moved to the present location in 1988, and again restored and rededicated September 27, 2008. Several Michigan WCTUers were present for the ceremony. Larger Image
The second "newly discovered" fountain is in the south wing on the main floor of the Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta, Georgia and was erected by the Georgia Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1923.
The inscription reads:
Mary Latimer McLendon
June 24, 1840 - November 20, 1921
Mother of suffrage in Georgia
Pioneer leader in the temperance cause
She made the world a wider world for
Women, a safer world for all mankind
She had the will to serve and bear
Love to do and dare
To live in the hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.
Here are a number of additional photos of fountains that are still in existence and have been located since the publication of our booklet. Click the thumbnail photo to see a larger image.
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