A long-lost fountain will rise again in West Chester
By John Chambless
West Chester & Chadds Ford Life
The West Chester & Chadds Ford Life October 2015 issue will be sent to homes in the West Chester and Chadds Ford areas. Here’s a “teaser.”
In 1883, a leisurely stroll through Marshall Square Park in West Chester was a chance to enjoy the shade of large trees, to see and be seen by neighbors and passers-by, and to stop and admire a fine fountain that splashed in the northeast corner of the park. By 1889, civic pride – and a little funding – led to this first fountain replaced by an even grander example. It had five cast-iron layers, allowing the water to jet out from the top and then trickle down over the ledges to the basin below.
But as the decades went by, fountains became nothing to admire anymore. By the 1960s, the fountain was gone. And that would have been the end of the story, if not for the Friends of Marshall Square Park, a group of residents who got together in 2005 to maintain the trees and surviving buildings in the park. They had historic photos of the park, with the fountain standing tall. They started investigating what happened to it.
Eventually, the pieces were discovered to have been at the farm of Gene and Joan Gagliardi, who had installed three of the tiers and kept the fountain operating on their property. The top tier was never found. The Friends of Marshall Square Park recovered the three tiers after the Gagliardis moved, and have had them in storage since 2012, lining up the restoration process.
Of course, there was the question of what remained inside the corroded iron fence around the area where the fountain once stood. So shovels hit the dirt. Keep Reading!
Our Music at Marshall concert/picnic season ends tonight. Because of the rain postponement last week, we need everyone to come out, have some fun, and show our great sponsors we appreciate their support.
Trees at the Monument in Marshall Square Park 4/26/2014 • Click to enlarge—breathtaking!
How did it go? Might there be a sequel?
Thanks for the note. We missed you, but the walk was wonderful.
We got to see our Kentucky Coffee tree! — Number 28 on Tree Location Map PDF below.
Was reminded of the significance of different leaf formations. Finally learned what those little red booties are that appear under the magnolias this time of year. In some ways, it was like a refresher of high school and college biology classes.
Ken (LeRoy) was absolutely charming; his enthusiasm for the park made everything ALIVE …and so fortunate for we who have it.
Not sure if Ken will come back, but there are others with other points of view that we should encourage to teach us about what we have!