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 people 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.
A booklet with stories and pictures is available from firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
The enduring permanence of the 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."
WCTU Santa Rosa Fountain
Alabama: Gadsden, Huntsville
Canada: Brockville, Bracebridge Kingston, and Quebec City
California: Arcata, Burbank, Fowler, Glendora, Hanford, Madera, Ontario, Orange, Petaluma, Reedley, Riverside, Selma, Sonora, Watsonville
Florida:St. Petersburg Museum of History
Georgia: Atlanta, Fitzgerald, Griffin
Illinois:Chicago, Decatur, Dixon, Harvey, Sullivan
Massachusetts: Amherst, Ayer, Brockton, Conway, Hadley, Lee, Leominster, North Attleboro, Orange, Pembroke, Uxbridge
Michigan:Detroit, Lansing, Lapeer, Spring Lake
Nebraska: Red Cloud
Nevada: Las Vegas, Reno
New Jersey:Cranbury, Newton, Ocean City, Pitman, Salem
New York: Allegheny, Avon,Canton, Chautauqua, Churchville, Fredonia
North Dakota: Park River
Oregon: La Grande, Roseburg
Pennsylvania: Bellefonte, Coudersport, Greensburg, Pen Argyl, Reading
Rhode Island: Block Island, Cranston, Kingston
Washington: Anacortes, Olympia