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Moving to return a fountain to Emmitsburg

James Rada, Jr.
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(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 Emmitsburg.

“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 attention.

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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