Owego Hose Teams, Inc., the local not-for-profit spearheading the Baker Fireman’s Fountain Restoration, along with its team of community business partners working on the fountain site and the contractor performing restoration work on the fountain have set a tentative spring 2019 completion date for the project.
The fountain was removed in July and transported to Robinson Iron in Alexander City, Alabama where a complete restoration is underway. Robinson Iron holds the original “Fiske Casting Catalogue.” The J.W. Fiske Company from New York City originally cast the Baker Fireman’s Fountain in 1914. Robinson Iron’s work will be completed early next year.
McKay Lodge Art Conservation Laboratory in Oberlin, Ohio recently completed the fountain condition assessment, treatment, and maintenance plan as well as drafted specifications for the fountain concrete, water and electric work. These plans were reviewed by the project team last week and schedule for project completion put in place.
Excavation work of the fountain site in the Courthouse Square has been ongoing the past two weeks by John Chandler of J.O.C. Construction. The remaining fountain structure will be removed with some of the existing sidewalk and the whole area will be re-graded by Chandler. In November, Seamus Cerretani of SDC Concrete will pour the base pad of the fountain, which will be allowed to cure over the winter. SUEZ Water, with E.E. Root and Sons, will replace the existing water supply and pump. All four companies are donating their time and services to the effort.
Next spring Cerretani will pour the remaining fountain pool and Robinson Iron will return and reassemble the fountain at its current location. Williams and Edsall Land Surveyors marked the fountain location free of charge prior to its removal. Justin Hulslander of Hulslander Concrete will pour a firefighter’s Maltese cross sidewalk with stamped concrete surrounding the fountain in honor of Owego’s five Fallen Firefighters. Charlie Munroe of Good Earth Landscaping will set the bricks for the new “Memorial Walkway” leading up to the fountain from Main Street. To date, 328 bricks have been sold as part of the walkway. A final completion date with fountain rededication will be set early next year.
Fundraising has been ongoing since 2017 and the hose team received an additional $5,000 grant from the Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation this year. The Truman Foundation previously provided a $20,000 grant to the effort.
Other upcoming fundraisers include a chicken BBQ that will be held on Oct. 20 across from Croton Hose Co. #3 Fire Station on Talcott Street on the Flats and Monte Carlo Night in partnership with VFW Post #1371 and Auxiliary on Nov. 3 at the VFW Post on Main Street.
Bricks for the “Memorial Walkway” continue to be sold on the hose team website at www.OwegoHoseTeams.com.
Project status information is available on the hose team website and Facebook page. Donations and brick purchases can be made via the website or by sending checks to Owego Hose Teams, Inc. at 461 East Main St., Owego, N.Y. 13827 with “fountain” in the memo line.