Drive By History, Part 3: National Humane Alliance Fountain

It says thusly:
Presented by
The National
Humane Alliance
Hermon Lee Ensign

B50 Note: Between 1906 and 1912, the National Humane Alliance presented somewhere around 125 Horse Watering Troughs to cities and towns across the country, including Denver. Hermon Lee Ensign, who died in 1899, dedicated his fortune to funding the National Humane Alliance in order to “spread about humanitarian ideas among the people.” Such education, Ensign hoped, would instill in people, “especially the young, ideas of humanity both to the lower animals and to each other.” The fountains were produced in Vinalhavan, Maine. One of the fountains was recently relocated to a park in Derby, Connecticut — the community has a web page that offers great information.

The Denver fountain is located in a small paved triangle in the Civic Center District, where Colfax, Tremont, and 13th intersect. Unfortunately, the fountain no longer works, and the basin is filled with soil, which makes it hard to recognize its original purpose. The following photo was taken by Harry Rhoads in 1920 (courtesy of the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library).

Humane Alliance watering fountain at the intersection of Colfax & Tremont photo by Harry M. Rhoads. 1920.

This entry was posted in history, places and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Drive By History, Part 3: National Humane Alliance Fountain

  1. Rudi Cerri says:

    The Denver Office of Cultural Affairs has cleaned, repaired the trough and landscaped around the fountain and will be recasting the lions head spigots that were originally on the fountain. The Denver Office of Cultural Affairs would have loved to make the through functional again, but it was not feasible at this time.

  2. skyelar says:

    Why have you not posted Enid Oklahoma’s fountain??? We have a model of that fountain as well,located on Grand.

  3. skyelar says:

    it works perfectly well,too…it just has a huge chunk out of the bowl because an automobile crashed into it in its early years.

  4. skyelar says:

    odd… i noticed on the above photos that those fountains, compared to ours, look exactly the same spare for the fact that those fountains, on a closer look, do not have the lion heads on the upper part on the other three sides aside from the plaque’s side. these lion heads have spouts within their mouths from which the water comes out into the bowl…is this a recent addition, original ‘art’, or what? maybe a special model? please answer this question with an answer as soon as possible!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *