A Fountain with a Story
The cast-iron fountain at the center of our town is much more than a fountain, and it’s got a pretty cool story.
The fountain we pass at the north-end of the diamond has not always had the same appearance or sat in the same location. The drinking fountain dates back to the early 1900s when town fundraising began in 1913 to bring clean drinking water to Ligonier. On June 21 in 1921, the Ligonier Volunteer Hose Company #1 donated the Man and Beat Fountain #209 by J.W. Fiske Iron Works of New York City.
The fountain had a bit of a different look in those days. Familiarly, it had and 36” statue of a woman with a dove perched on her wrist and the water spout was a fish. The fountain has always been green and the original artwork of on all four panels can still be admired. However, the fountain had a large horse-trough that spanned the entire circumference of the fountain: a 360 degree water-collecting unit, where all 4 sides had a faucet. This trough was removed in 1999 because there was concern of drowning.
Soon after, in the winter of 2003, the fountain was destroyed by a snow-plow truck striking it. The remains were removed with care and Stewart Iron Works in Kentucky was hired to repair it.
Interestingly, during it’s repair, this fountain was used to assist the restoration of two other famous fountains; one in Harrisonburg, PA and the other in Babylon, NY. In 2009, a mold of our Ligonier fountain was cast and it’s structure was used to authentically refurbish those other cast-iron relics.
In 2010, it was returned to the diamond where it currently sits as a functional, yet beautiful piece of artwork and history. A brass plaque is mounted to document its history in Ligonier, beginning with the firehall’s donation in 1921.
The next time you walk through town, take a minute to admire the fountain! Now, you have a few fun facts to share with visitors about it, too.
Photos and more information can be found.
Written by: Ashley KrausePosted