See a drinking fountain for both humans and horses

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    See a drinking fountain for both humans and horsesTry to find one of these somewhere other than Welcome, Minnesota. It’s a drinking fountain for both humans and horses.

    This one was built in 1914. In the late 1800s, both the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union had taken an interest in street fountains for horses and humans, and they built hundreds of them across the country.


    See a drinking fountain for both humans and horses

    At the time, city water wasn’t always germ free and beer was considered by many to be a health beverage. The two organizations didn’t buy the “health” claim. So they set these drover fountains in front of saloons to offer the option. Some were even built with a lower basin for dogs.

    This fountain is made of simple sheet metal, shaped like a small rocket or robot with a vertical main tube and a long conical hat. Most similar fountains are long gone. This one is in Welcome Park at the corner of First and South Dugan Streets.

    The very nice and quiet Korte’s Checkers Welcome Campground is about a mile away, just off I-90. If you spend more than a day, drive a little east to Austin, and visit the excellent Spam Museum. Oh, and don’t forget the Jolly Green Giant Statue in Blue Earth.

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    R.C.

    I drive a horse and carriage in Chicago. There are two fountains near the corner of Michigan and Chicago Avenue (Water Tower Park) dating from about the same period. Ours are cast iron and three-level: horse, human, and dog (at sidewalk level)