Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blogstalking Week 5

Blogstalker 5 : Favorite Statue

I immediately thought of this fountain which is in the small town park in front of my Town Hall.
It is the Cogswell Fountain. Mr Cogswell is holding two things: a glass of water and a temperance pledge. On the sign posted at the based it says:

In 1883, Cogswell, a San Francisco real estate tycoon, donated the fountain to the town in honor of his cousin William Cogswell, a local builder.
The Rockville city council was pleased to accept the donation, but once it got a look at the fountain, some townspeople had second thoughts, according to town historian S. Ardis Abbott.
Cogswell was not only a millionaire dentist, he was a temperance crusader and an eccentric philanthropist. He believed the availability of clean drinking water from public fountains would steer the common man away from the evils of "distilled liquors," so he pledged to erect a fountain for every 100 saloons across the country.

Like all of his fountains, the memorial he sent to Rockville was topped with a life-sized statue of himself holding a glass of water in one hand and a copy of the Temperance Pledge in the other. Unlike the seven fountains he had installed in San Francisco, the Rockville fountain is made of zinc, not bronze or granite,

The anti-alcohol message didn't go over well here, where residents had voted against the town "going dry."

"In the middle of the night one night, someone took down the statue and threw it into the lake," Abbott said.

The constabulary dragged the statue out of Shenipsit Lake and reinstated Dr. Cogswell atop the fountain, but soon he disappeared again. The good dentist's likeness did not reappear until 1908, when he was discovered leaning against a downtown building with a sign around his neck, "I've come back for old home week."

Ah....I love my town!!!