Friday’s Fountain Fact
A multi-part series documenting the current events taking place on Fountain Square as well honoring some of its history and details.
“Rules to be Observed”
While looking around the ‘I Love Cincy’ shop at Tower Place, I ran across a book that was a reprint of the 1872 book about the Tyler Davidson Fountain and its Dedication on Probasco Place, the original name of Fountain Square. In it they have all kinds of information. I mentioned Rutherford B. Hayes’s speech at the Dedication two week ago. This week I wanted to share part of a letter written by Ferdinand von Miller, the director of the Royal Bavarian Foundry, maker of the fountain, to S. Davis, Mayor of the City of Cincinnati in 1871.
The letter is to address how to manage and maintain the Fountain and includes eight “Rules to be Observed in the Management of the Tyler Davidson Fountain.” I’d like share Rules No. 6 & No. 7:
“6. The hands of the Genius shall be removed, when found necessary by wrench provided for the purpose; and great care must be observed, especially in removing them and cleaning them; and not to change their present position.
“7. If from mismanagement, or any other cause whatever, any of the main pipes in connection with the figure of the Genius, should break, the following instructions must be observed: The crown of the Genius is a plate, fastened by four screws. Down this opening the pipes will be seen. Should it be necessary to remove an arm, there will be seen screws, which separate the same from the body. If it should be necessary to remove the Genius from the pedestal upon which it stands, first remove the bolts connecting the same; the pipe will be disconnected, and the Genius removed.”
You really need to read all the rules like that the watchman of the fountain should be fired from his job should he permit “leaves, papers, cigars, fire-crackers, fruits, or any substance whatever to remain in the basin or shells . . .” Yes, there was a recommendation to have a watchman oversee and maintain the fountain back from the very beginning.