Architectural Artifacts of the Equine Era

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Pat Holscher
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Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:02 pm

Todd posted this recent item in another thread:
Pat Holscher wrote:
Todd wrote:
Pat Holscher wrote:
Straying off topic a bit, what this also serves to illustrate is how much, over the span of a century, things have changed in regards to working with animals. A century ago, large animals were a part of everyone's lives, even if they didn't work with them directly. If a person did nothing other than have home delivery of ice or milk, a draft animal was stopping by frequently. Huge numbers of people had employments that involved animals. Even people in my town occupation used horses a great deal, in that line of work, to ride circuits and what not, in the 19th Century. Now all this is mostly lost. And with it, something more than that is lost really. I don't mean to sound overly nostalgic or romantic about it, and a person shouldn't, but a complete severance from the natural world, including the natural world of animals, is an experiment humans have never before engaged in, and there's a lot of reason to believe that the results of that are not entirely good.
Indeed - in our town ( Lawrence, KS ) there is an old park with lots of the usual old park accoutrements like a gazebo/bandstand, etc. One of the old staples is a large two level fountain that was constructed by the efforts of boys and girls collecting change some 100+ years ago, to provide a fresh water supply for the draft animals that were plying the streets at the time. I'll have to dig up a photo of it - very interesting upper bowl for the 'display' aspect, and a low series of surrounding basins on the side for the animals to drink at their normal height.

In those days, they took up a collection to provide for the animals. Today, they would take up a petition to fine anyone forcing an animal to work and ban them from the town.
That got me to thinking, I wonder how many artifacts, civil or military, from the equine era there are around today? Things such as the fountain mentioned here.

One minor one I can think of was a steel ring that was set in the cement near my office, placed there so that you could tie a horse up there, on 2nd Street. Unfortunately, it's now gone as it was removed a few years ago when they put in a new sidewalk.
Pat

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Rick Throckmorton
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Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:39 pm

There was for years a large stone fountain and trough on the city square of Enid, Ok.It had been erected for the watering of horses and mules, as Enid was one of the larger communities in NW Okla since the territorial days and the town was full of them clear up into the days of the Model A Ford. A few short decades ago, it was removed from the square, necessitated by a street improvement project. Fortunately, it was not destroyed and simply stored at a city facility. With the centennial celebrations related to the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893, a renewed interest in the history of the area brought the original fountain and trough out of storage and it is now displayed on the city square again.
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Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:11 pm

Around where I live on the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire border in England, there are a few old horse troughs still about but mostly planted with flowers now. I doubt they would be too pleased if my horse stopped by and ate her fill from them. Also in England we have public bridleways which I think would certainly count as they are specifically horse tracks and not roads.

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Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:16 pm

The blacksmith shop, and some stables are still standing at Fort McClellan, in Anniston, but they are behind a chain link fence. If I can, I'll try to get over there this fall sometime, and ask around to see if I can get in to photograph them.

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Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:32 pm

The topic of fountains turns out to be surprisingly revealing. It appears there was a nationwide effort to place fountains for horses by an organization at least partially dedicated to that purpose, which was called the National Humane Alliance. There's an existing fountain in downtown Denver that organization funded, and it appears to have funded the one in Enid also.
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Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:36 pm

Image
Photograph courtesy of the Denver Public Library, no reproduction without permission of the Denver Public Library.

Here's the fountain in Denver. Next time I'm down there I'll have to go by and photograph it.
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Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:43 pm

Pat

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Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:52 pm

Wow, Pat! Good job of running with this. I had no idea there were so many of these fountains and the story behind them. Interesting website with the pics of the various fountains set around the country.
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Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:35 am

Rick Throckmorton wrote:Wow, Pat! Good job of running with this. I had no idea there were so many of these fountains and the story behind them. Interesting website with the pics of the various fountains set around the country.
Rick T.
The whole thing really surprised me.

Like Todd's earlier comment, what this serves to illustrate is how significant horses were just a century or so again. All of these fountains date to the first decade of the 20th Century, and they all started after an item noted in today's history thread, the start of car manufacturing by Ford Motors. Nonetheless, horses were so present that an organization was worried about their getting to drink in towns and cities.

Note the one photo in the link of horses in NYC. That fountain was getting major use!

This is something that simply never would have occurred to me. . .urban horse fountains.
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Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:10 pm

Something relevant from overseas -
One of the most important archaeological findings of the last ten years on French territory has been made by an Inrap team at the foot of one of the Auvergne Gallic strongholds. In February 2002, after several fruitless tests, the last probe of an evaluation campaign revealed eight horsemen buried with their horses. The presence of horses in a Celtic burial ground is exceptional. This enigmatic discovery has moreover provoked a strong interest in scientific circles and sheds new light on our knowledge of funerary practices of this period. International media were quick to realise its importance and have commented it widely, calling it the "Celtic Ghost Cavalry".
http://www.inrap.fr/preventive-archaeol ... ondole.htm
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Pat Holscher
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Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:58 am

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Detail on Veterinary hospital at F. E. Warren, now an Air Force Base but formerly an Army base, outside of Cheyenne Wyoming.
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Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:38 am

Pat Holscher wrote:Image
Photograph courtesy of the Denver Public Library, no reproduction without permission of the Denver Public Library.

Here's the fountain in Denver. Next time I'm down there I'll have to go by and photograph it.
BINGO! That's nearly exactly what the one in Lawrence, KS looks like. Note the basins at the base, which I suppose are for dogs and whatever else would wander by in the nocturnal hours...
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:30 am

Todd wrote:
Pat Holscher wrote:Image
Photograph courtesy of the Denver Public Library, no reproduction without permission of the Denver Public Library.

Here's the fountain in Denver. Next time I'm down there I'll have to go by and photograph it.
BINGO! That's nearly exactly what the one in Lawrence, KS looks like. Note the basins at the base, which I suppose are for dogs and whatever else would wander by in the nocturnal hours...
Pretty neat. Pretty useful too. It makes, in some ways, an interesting contrast to our own era, when animal based movements are often based on a lack of understanding of their nature, while here, the effort was focused on part of their nature. . . getting a drink.
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Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:04 pm

Richmond, VA. Still has its fountain/trough that it received in 1907. At that time the newspaper editors thought the gift was quite a compliment and were proud to be the first southern city to receive one.

Also I stumbled upon these web sites dealing with old water troughs still around in England.

http://faded-london.blogspot.com/2008/0 ... oughs.html

http://faded-london.blogspot.com/2008/0 ... oughs.html

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolit ... ssociation>
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Pat Holscher
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Fri May 15, 2015 8:37 am

Pat Holscher wrote:Image
Photograph courtesy of the Denver Public Library, no reproduction without permission of the Denver Public Library.

Here's the fountain in Denver. Next time I'm down there I'll have to go by and photograph it.
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Pat

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Gruber Hall was the indoor riding arena at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Used for classroom space during WW II as shown and was eventually converted to a gymnasium.
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Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:33 am

Oddly enough, for those following the news on this and that, one of these horse fountains was removed in Helana, Montana yesterday.

It had the odd status of having been placed there after a 1916 drive by the Daughters of the Confederacy, making it the only memorial to CSA veterans in the Rocky Mountain Region. I'd not have known it was there at all but for having read about the removal in yesterday's paper.
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