The Fill the Fountain fund raising campaign to restore Ocean Grove’s historic 1907 fountain in Founders Park has reached its goal of $106,500.
“We are thrilled by the support from area residents,” said Ted Bell, town historian and member of the Historical Society of Ocean Grove. “People walking through the park stop and look at the site, read our signs, and come by the museum to make a donation.”
In addition, several substantial gifts from local organizations such as the Ladies Auxiliary and individual residents facilitated the fund raising cause.
The Founders Park Fountain is the last remaining fountain of the original nine cast iron fountains that once decorated the Victorian camp meeting town. One other drinking fountain – the Beersheba Well – still functions in Auditorium Park. As of June, the fountain was transported to Robinson Iron Works in Alexander City, AL, for complete restoration. The fountain will be reinstalled in the park in time for Ocean Grove’s 150th anniversary celebration in summer 2019.
The current status of the project is now focused on site improvement. Electric and water lines must be upgraded in the park, a new cement foundation must be constructed and landscaping added. Donations are still being accepted, and will be earmarked for yearly maintenance.
“It is important that we maintain the fountain once it is restored – clean it, paint as needed, drain it for the winter – all this takes additional funds and expertise,” he said.
The Historical Society has established a separate fund for all donations for the fountain, and detailed information is available at the Museum, at 50 Pitman Avenue, across from Auditorium Park.