The fountain had two drinking troughs for horses and cattle. It had four smaller and lower troughs for dogs and sheep. Drinking faucets flowed contiually from the mouth of a moulded dog head. the overflow filled the other troughs automatically. Cups were attached to be handy for the thirsty passer-by. This splendid gift was placed on its base on May 20th, 1893. The horse first faced north. Later the base was moved to the westward to widen Main street, then the horse faced east.
With automobiles replacing horses, and cattle being cared for in herds, the need for water at the fountain reduced. Faucets were removed and replaced by a push button to allow the water to flow and then to shut off when the button was released. The cups were also removed, but one could quench his thirst from the moulded dog’s head well into the 1920’s.
The fountain has been damaged and defaced a number of times. One of the dog’s faces was blown off in August of 1922 by a home-made bomb. This was replaced and put back in place. The morningof February 5th, 1961, a snow storm made it necessary to keep Vancouver Street open for hospital travel. During one trip of the grader, the fountain was struck. The horse tilted and crashed to the ground. Dozens of pieces were scooped up and left at the side of the road, destination being the town dump.
The Town Council, during its meeting the next night, took the matter in hand. The Town Engineer was ordered to collect all the pieces. This was done and the pieces were sent to the Lunenburg Foundry for repair. In due time the horse was repaired, returned to Yarmouth, and put in its rightful place.
Thoughtless people have on numerous occasions defaced our horse by spraying it with paint as an initiation prank. A prank of a different kind occured in 1986. A couple of our local citizens were involved in further destruction. At that time both ears of the horse were broken off. One was recovered, another was made by the Town Engineer and the two ears were replaced.
The Milton Improvement Society has taken great pride in the care of our asset. The troughs are not used by our animals but Mr. Henry Reed sees to it that where water once flowed, now flowers, shrubs and vines flourish in the summer.
This gift to Yarmouth, made 100 years ago, has been admired by all. It has been photographed more than any other landmark in our town.
A legacy gift, well received and well kept.