Drinking Fountain, Gift of the Class of 1900
Class of 1900 Fountain, November 2003. Photo Credit: Kevin S. Forsyth.
This odd, rounded mass of stone, shrouded by shrubbery and bearing the inscription “Class of 1900,” is the subject of much curiosity among visitors (and those few students who happen to stroll, rather than rush, by). In our modern era, the intended purpose of this remnant of a hundred-year-old class gift is not readily discerned. It is, in fact, a two-sided drinking fountain.
On its north side, the fountain has a large basin that was used by horses travelling along the circle drive, which until 1926 ran west of the Library–Museum. On its south side, which faced the sidewalk along the drive, people could drink from a lion’s-head spout that has long since been removed.
Class of 1900 Fountain, pedestrian side, November 2003. Photo Credit: Kevin S. Forsyth.
It is apparent that the graduates of 1900 had no crystal ball to see that internal combustion engines would soon supplant the more literal form of horsepower. Today, the forgotten edifice has an air not of functionality, but of folly. It is perhaps because of this that it remains one of this author’s favorite campus sites.