Oakland, CA

Oakland received its fountain in 1908 and erected it at the junction of Broadway and Twenty-sixth Street. Two members of the Women's Civic Improvement Club - President Mrs. Clarissa Morris and Secretary Alma Kower were the most instrumental in acquiring the fountain from the National Humane Alliance. The mayor was obviously pleased with the effort as the city approved the addition of the bronze standard and light above the fountain. There were several other fountains for animals erected around the city at the same time, but the NHA fountain was the most prominent of all.

Like many other fountains around the country, the fountain soon became an obstacle to motor traffic and a subject of debate - and an occasional accident. Brittany Luna found the picture above of the fountain in a state of disrepair following an unpleasant encounter with an automobile. Evidently the local newspaper (Oakland Tribune, Nov. 15, 1926) thought the story a bit humorous as the headline above the picture read, "Auto Driven to Drink - Merry Motorist smacks concrete horse trough, depriving horses of refreshing quaffs. But the city is putting the equine drink parlor back in shape, at Broadway and Webster, after argument over its usefulness."

The story below the picture carried on in the same humorous bent with another rousing headline, "Arrogant Auto Rams Horse Fountain for Gurgling Goal."

Evidently enjoying themselves they continued with the story:

     Progress knocked tradition for the welll-known goal the other night when a gay party of joyriders smacked the horse fountain at Broadway and Webster street off its concrete base.

     City artisans are on the job today, putting the equine soft drink parlor back in place. But it was not until a conflict arose over the usefulness of a horse trough in this modern age that the public works department decided to restore the affair.

     The horse fountain was built many years ago, before the gasoline era. The motor mishap indicated that it was blocking the restless present and the city planned to remove it altogether.

     But a check among merchants in the neighborhood revealed that scores of plodding peddler wagon horses gather from far parts of the city to refresh themselves there. So the horses will continue to be driven to drink. Until the next automobile knocks the fountain for another gurgling goal.

It would be nice if we could say that this fountain restoration was permanent. However, we are guessing that the author was probably clairvoyant in predicting the fountains future demise. And that is where we will leave things until we come up with another discovery!

For more on the National Humane Alliance Fountains click here.

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