Here are the origins and histories of our public watering troughs. Not much horse traffic any more, but fascinating history...
On March 14, 1881, a committee of two, Joseph Hapgood and George Flood, was appointed to consider the matter of public watering troughs. Since then the town has received four.
In 1888, Lorenzo Maynard erected one at the corner of Nason and Main Streets. This was presented to the town in 1891. In 1915, Nason Street was widened from Main Street to Summer Street and the watering trough was relocated to the foot of Walnut Street, where it remained until parking meters were installed in 1951, at which time it was removed to the public works garage. At the request of the Maynard Historical Society, and with the full support of the board of selectmen, fire department, police department and public works department it was re-located in front of the Fire and Police Station on June 25, 1969.
Mrs. Asahel Balcom had one erected in 1892 at the crossroads at Great Road and Parker Street where it stands today. Also in 1892, Thomas H. Rafferty was given permission to erect one on Main Street near the Sudbury Street railroad crossing. According to Gutteridge's "History of Maynard" this one was first made spherical for one of the battlefields, but before leaving the shop was damaged and Rafferty obtained it. In April 1894, the town voted to accept the gift of this memorial fountain, together with a sum of $200.00 for its maintenance. (This sum now amounts to approximately $600.00 according to the 1969 Town Report).
At town meeting on June 27, 1904 it was voted to accept the watering trough, the gift of the late Warren A. Haynes; to remove a watering trough owned by Mr. Haynes at the corner of Cornord and Tremont Streets and re-locate it at the corner of Concord and Acton Streets. Today only the base of this one remains at the site.
While these watering troughs no longer serve the purpose for which they were originally intended -- for horses, dogs and human beings to quench their thirst -- they still stand as mementos of the past, and as memorials to the families who donated them to the town.
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This page was revised on: November 27, 2000