Spokane, Washington Fountain

The Spokane, Washington fountain has undergone one of the most radical transformations of any of the National Humane Alliance Fountains as you can see from the picture above to our latest version:

We want to thank  Maddy Karol for sending us the new picture and the new location. You will note that the first picture shows a fountain very similar to Derby's with the exception of the light attached to the top. Several fountains around the country had lights attached to the top, but none looked like Spokane's. Now take a closer look at the second picture and the look has changed dramatically. To start with, the light has been replaced by a statue of the Virgin Mary. That may be related to its new location in a courtyard of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes - a couple of blocks from its original location.

Now take a closer look at the spigots. Around the country, they are uniformly lions  heads with the exception of one where the spigots are now horse heads. Spokane's fountain's spigots have human faces! The original plaque which would have had the same Ensign Founatin language as Derby's with the exception of the year is also missing. However, there is a small plaque with the statue on the top that reads, "Mary Statue Given in Loving Memory of my mother Mayme Breyer LeMay by Leonard Joseph LeMay." The statue no longer has running water, but at least it has been preserved, and maybe at some future date the water might return. Certainly, it has a great location for that.

We'll work to get more information about the history, but Maddy found this original article showing the 1908 installation:


Maddy also found information from the Offical Gazette of the City of Spokane from July 23, 1921 that stated:

"On motion of Mr. Smith, the matter of disposal of the drinking fountain formerly located at the corner of Riverside avenue and Division street, was referred to Commissioners Funk and Argall with power to act." This would seem to indicate that the fountain had a very short lifespan in its original location.

What happened to the fountain after that? Maddy found an additional story in the Spokane Daily Chronicle in 1939 where the city discussed old watering troughs, but didn't clearly identify the Ensign Fountain, but it talked about the fountains installed 30 years before being "removed to obliterate one more landmark of the old hose and buggy days in Spokane." Luckily this one surviced, and we'll try to find out how!

For more fountain pictures, click here. For a listing of all that have been discovered to date, click here.

Posted October 24, 2010

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