Derby History Quiz

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A Watering Trough For Horses

Fountain found a new life and a new home after quiz!

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Click here for an interactive map of all the fountains

Fountains Like Derby's Found All Over U.S.

 

What started out as an effort to learn more about a fountain given to Derby in 1906 has turned into a near obsession to identify all of the similar fountains that were distributed. The only identifying mark on the Derby fountain (as was the case with all of the fountains) was a simple plaque with the year the fountain was given followed by a simple inscription:

That was just enough information to start the search to find out who Hermon Lee Ensign was and what his Alliance was all about. You can find that information on this page and all the linked pages that we have found or developed. Mr. Ensign was a philanthropist and humanitarian who left a significant amount of money to the National Humane Alliance which he founded that was to be used to provide cities all across America (and beyond) with fountains designed to provide water for horses to be placed in prominent high volume traffic areas. Our early research received a major boost when the Newberry Library in Chicago provided us with a pamphlet from the National Humane Alliance which showed that there were nearly 100 of the fountains distributed.

We want to thank Bill Chilles from the Vinalhaven Historical Society in Vinalhaven, Maine for the interesting photo at the top of this page of fountains lined up at the quarry in Maine ready for delivery to various parts of the United States and beyond. The date on the plaques on those fountains is 1907, a year after Derby had become one of the first cities across the U.S. to receive a National Humane Alliance Fountain. We now believe that the first fountain was given to Binghamton, NY in 1902, but that fountain was moved to Rochester in 2019. If you look carefully, you will see that they are not all identical. One fountain at the left in the photo is different in having a cylindrical upper pedestal compared to the rectangular one found on the others and in Derby. A 1910 version is pictured at the left. In an article about the fountain in Seneca, Kansas, there is a reference to a "second size" fountain, which referred to the fountains with the smaller cylindrical tops.

It appears that Derby's fountain was quarried on Vinalhaven which is an island off the coast from Rockland. Joseph R. Bodwell who went on to become the 40th governor of Maine opened several small quarries starting in 1852 that eventually became the Bodwell Granite Company. 

Mr. Chilles and other members of the Vinalhaven Historical Society have been doing research on the Granite Company and the fountains produced there. We have been sharing our information as we continue to expand on the history of the fountains with new ones being reported regularly. We continue to add to the collection of pictures and stories, but we my never get them all.

Click on icons and links for bigger pictures and/or more information about each of the fountains for which we have pictures. There were about 140 fountains distributed and we have pictures of 113 of them. Click here for a table with a more complete listing beyond those pictured below. At the top of the page you can find an interactive Google map with all of the locations for fountains distributed by the Alliance that includes pictures, street views and even the years when the fountains were given.


Mobile, Alabama

Selma, Alabama

Hot Springs, AR.

Texarkana, Arkansas

Los Angeles, CA

Napa, CA

Oakland, CA

Pasadena, CA

St. Helena, CA

San Francisco, CA

San Jose, CA

Colorado Springs, CO

Denver, Colorado

Grand Junction, Co.

Derby, CT

Wilmington, Delaware

Pensacola, FL

 


St. Augustine, Florida

Augusta, GA

Cedar Rapids, IA

Council Bluffs, IA 

Davenport, IA

Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, IA

Mason City, IA

Ottumwa, IA

Sioux City, IA

Caldwell, ID

Chicago, IL

Geneseo, IL

Moline, IL

Ottowa, IL

Princeton, IL

Rock Island, IL

Sheffield, IL

Evansville, IN

Muncie, IN

South Bend, IN

Kansas City, KS 

Lawrence, KS

Seneca, KS

Topeka, KS

Wichita, KS

Mayfield, KY

Paducah, Kentucky

Springfield, MA.

Westfield, MA

Houlton, ME

North Haven, Maine (!)

Baltimore, MD

Portland, Me

Vinalhaven, ME

Vinalhaven, Me

Waterville, Maine

Jackson, MI

Austin, MN

Clinton, MO

Kansas City, MO

Maryville, MO

St. Joseph, MO

Vicksburg, MS

Butte, MT

Charlotte, NC

Raleigh, NC

Grand Forks, ND

Minot, ND 

Lincoln, NE

Omaha, NE

Claremont, NH

Carson City, Nevada

Albuquerque, NM

Albany, NY

Auburn, NY

Binghamton, NY

Buffalo, NY

Middletown, NY

Rochester, NY

Cleveland, OH

Marietta, OH

Chickasha, OK

Enid, OK

Shawnee, OK

Portland, OR

Allegheny (Now Pittsburgh?), PA 

Carbondale, PA

Harrisburg, PA

Newport, RI

Abbeville,SC

Camden, SC

Columbia, SC

Georgetown, SC

Laurens, SC

Rapid City, SD

Sioux Falls, SD

Bristol, TN

Clarksville, TN

Nashville, TN

Dallas, TX

Denton, TX

ElPaso, TX

Georgetown, TX

Waco, TX

Salt Lake City, UT

Norfolk, VA

Richmond, VA

Roanoke, VA

Barre, VT

Bennington,VT

Burlington, VT  

Spokane, WA

Milwaukee, WI

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Havana, Cuba