Betty Dennis on the fountain in the park.

October 11, 1972

    An 1898 Valley Gleaner article tells of the “New Fountain” to be placed in prominence in Lee. The park was considered, but forsaken because it was felt that only a small proportion of the people who came to our village passed through the park….so it was placed on Main Street, at the South end of Railroad Street, between today’s Lee Hardware and G.A. Brooks Jewelry Store.

    Its inception was due to Miss Amelia Jeanette Kilbon, whose purpose was to provide a drinking fountain for people, horses and dogs. After her untimely death an even more elaborate project was carried on as a tribute to her memory.

    In the recording of the dedication, the following was given…”This memorial becomes today the property of the town of Lee, No one can doubt that it will ever be guarded and maintained as one of the town’s most valued possessions.” The total cost was three hundred seventy five dollars.

    We are most fortunate that it was designed by Daniel Chester French, who gave special study to its proposed location, and the town’s earlier inhabitants. No doubt, due to this study the Indian head on front came into being. The choice of Lee marble was so strong that no other material was even considered. Mr. W. H. Gross donated that, which weighed between six and seven tons. Mr. Dante Baccolini did most of the excellent carving.

    In 1903 it was relocated, and at this time to its present position in the park. Care was taken when it was moved to enclose it properly so that no harm would come to it. Although the day of needing a drinking place for horses has passed, it is still used today as a planter.

Lee Historical Society