James Rada, Jr.
(2/21) The Emmitsburg town fountain
represented the spirit of the community for half century it sat in the town
square. It was an idea conceived by the community and brought to fruition by
community donations. Once built, it was operated by the town government about
brought beauty to town square as can be seen in old photographs.
Now, a group a community members hope that
history can repeat itself as they work to bring the fountain back to
“The community paid for the fountain
originally and gave it to the town,” said Mike Hillman with the Greater
Emmitsburg Area Historical Society. “It is my view that the same thing should
happen today. We are trying to follow spirit of what happened originally.”
He has been meeting with community leaders
and businesspeople to establish a committee that will oversee the project of
bringing the town fountain back to Emmitsburg.
“I think it would be a great way to
preserve a piece of the town’s history,” said Emmitsburg Mayor James Hoover.
“To have the original fountain come back would be great, but the next best
thing would be to get a duplicate of the fountain made.”
The original fountain was dedicated in
July 1885 and graced the square for more than 40 years, until it was hit head
on by a Taneytown driver and finally removed in 1927. After extensive research,
the historical society believes that the remaining pieces of the iron fountain
were probably melted down in the war effort.
Though originally cast by a York, Pa.
company, the current owner of the molds is Robinson Iron in Alabama. To have
the same fountain recast and installed will cost $70,000 plus some additional
cost for plumbing and electrical work.
Obviously, the fountain can’t be placed in
the center of the town square, but there are four options for a new placement.
According to Hillman, the new fountain could be placed at one of the corners of
the square, in front of one of the churches in town, in front of the community
center or in Community Park.
Hoover said he favors the Community Park
site because that is where the fountain would be able to attract the most
Hillman and the volunteers he is working
with are trying to establish a fund with the Community Foundation of Frederick
County to gather the funds to pay for the fountain.
For the history of the fountain, see Mike
Hillman’s article, “The origin and fate of Emmitsburg’s town fountain”
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