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 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

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

WCTU Fountains


Alabama: Gadsden, Guntersville, Huntsville
Canada:  Brockville, Bracebridge, Kingston, and Quebec City
California:  Arcata,  Burbank, Fowler,  Glendora, Hanford, Madera, Ontario, Orange, Petaluma, Reedley, Riverside, Selma, Sonora, Watsonville
Delaware:Rehoboth Beach
Florida:St. Petersburg Museum of History
Georgia: Atlanta, Fitzgerald, Griffin
Illinois:Chicago, Decatur, Dixon, Harvey, Sullivan
Indiana:Bloomington, Brazil
Iowa:Edgewood, Shenandoah

Kansas: Wichita
Louisiana:Baton Rouge
Massachusetts:  Amherst, Ayer, Brockton, Conway, Hadley, Lee, Leominster, North Attleboro, Orange, Pembroke, Uxbridge
Michigan:Detroit, Lansing, Lapeer,  Spring Lake
Red Cloud
New Jersey:
Cranbury, Newton, Ocean City, Pitman, Salem

New Mexico: Las Vegas,
New York:  Allegheny, Avon,Canton, Chautauqua, Churchville, Fredonia, Spencertown
North Carolina:Greensboro

North Dakota:  Park River
La Grande, Roseburg
Bellefonte, Coudersport, Greensburg, Pen Argyl, Reading
Rhode Island:  Block Island, Cranston, Kingston
Anacortes, Olympia