The painstakingly restored 1907 FitzGerald Fountain is about to be installed in Founders Park at the North End of Ocean Grove.
A project that was two years in the planning was made possible by community organizations and townspeople who contributed over $100,000 to the restoration project.
“The actual rebuilding of the cast iron fountain is already complete,” says Ted Bell, chair of the project, which is sponsored by the Historical Society of Ocean Grove. “The fountain was delivered to Ocean Grove in late April. Right now, we are awaiting completion of the pool basin.”
The four-tier, cast iron fountain was restored by Robinson Iron of Alabama, and is being stored by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. The first tier is over 7 feet high.
Later this week weather permitting, Aqualand Pools of Wall will install a catch basin drain and cement foundation for the fountain, which weighs in over a ton. New electric lines are complete, and a water connection was installed. Bell is hoping that the project will be finished for July 4. The official dedication ceremony is Sat., July 27 at 11 a.m., in conjunction with the 150th Anniversary activities for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association.
Bob Waitt, president of the Historical Society, encourages people to visit the park to watch the final steps of the construction.
“First, we will have the catch basin built, and then Robinson Iron (the restorers) will return to town to install the fountain. It will be exciting the see our last remaining fountain up and running. We will keep the community posted on our Facebook page.”
“Plus, we are still seeking additional funds, if people would like to make a donation,” Bell said.“We are adding some landscaping, a fence around the fountain, and a camera security system.”
Donations can be made directly to the Historical Society of Ocean Grove, 50 Pitman Avenue.