San Jose, CA

 

Brittany Luna came up with a real find when she found a March, 1984 edition of the San Jose Historical Museum Association News and found this remarkable picture of the National Humane Alliance fountain and story from 1910. San Jose was not in our database of cities receiving fountains, but it is now! It appears that the city received the fountain in February, 1910 and was placed on the Market Street Plaza opposite the post office which had been turned into the San Jose Museum of Art.

The San Jose Herald had reported that Dr. John W. Davy, president of the Santa Clara County Humane Society was the man most responsible for San Jose's good fortune as the paper reported that National Humane Alliance had bypassed forty other applications to award the fountain to San Jose, probably because San Jose was the home of the State Humane Society. Davy even got the Southern Pacific railway to handle the shipping pro bono.

The plaque on the fountain reads 1909 which was probably the year of the award and the building of the fountain. The Humane Society was also fortunate that the Union Teamsters hauled the fountain from the train to the erection site at no cost and the street department under the direction of Superintendent V. M. Traceerdid the build. The United Gas and Electric Company not only provided the lamp, but also installed all the wiring and connections at their own expense.

As with many other cities, automobile traffic proved to be the fountain's undoing. The city engineer Harold Flannery was quoted in 1964 as saying, "Near the early 1930's it became such a menace to traffic, it was declared a high priority item for removal by the Public Works Administration (PWA) during the Depression." And so ended the useful life of San Jose's fountain.

The 1984 article by Hank Calloway also featured the picture of teh bowl from the fountain which remained in storage at the Museum.

 

For more on the National Humane Alliance Fountains click here.


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