By Donna Whitbeck
This past spring, the Ouleout Valley Cemetery Board decided that it is time for a full restoration of the historic fountain, as it will soon deteriorate beyond repair.
The fountain was purchased in 1884 by Erastus Edgerton, one of the major founders of the Cemetery, and installed in 1895. It runs from dawn to dusk every day, and has endured over 125 years of rain, ice, and snow, but along with its plumbing and foundation, it is in desperate need of repair.
Cemetery Board member Jeff McCormack was able to trace the history of the fountain back to the maker, the J.W. Fiske Company of New York City. The Fiske Company, a prominent design firm and ironworks, also made a “sister” fountain which was displayed at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. That fountain now resides in St. Joseph, Michigan.