| The impetus for the erection of the fountain at Eaton Square came from Nahum Capen who said: It was my great privilege to enjoy the friendship and confidence of Thodore Lyman, Jr., at an early period of my manhood, though he was twelve years my senior. ... In 1826 he published a work entitled "The Diplomacy of the United States, --being an Account of the Foreign Relations of the Country, from the first treaty with France, 1778 to the present time, " an able and important work of two volumes ... As he was the first to propose the introduction of water into the city of Boston, I felt that properly a monument to his memory would be a Fountain, and as Eaton Square, in Ward 24, was a sightly and beautiful spot, I selected it as an elegible locality upon which to place it ...
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Nahum Capen continued. "The several rows of now beautiful trees on the [Boston] Common that radiate from the foot of Joy Street, and those which throw their grateful shade across the walk between the head of Park Street and West Street, were planted under his direct superintendence, while he urged the immediate introduction of pure water, and presented to the council calculations and estimates bearing upon his recommendations. Though fourteen years elapsed before his ideas were carried out, his wise suggestions first gave public spirit an impulse in this direction. ...
... The fountain is a highly ornamental structure of original design and fine proportions, and is believed to be the highest and handsomest fountain in the New England States. Its entire altitude is twenty-six feet. The basin is of Monson granite and thirty-three feet in diameter. The pirst pan is twelve feet and six inches in diameter; the second pan six feet and eight inches. The surmounting group of figures represents Venus, Cupid, and swan, while the figures about the pedestal stand for the four seasons. The supply of water is from three pipes attached to a three-inch main, a sixty-pound pressure providing ample force. One of these pipes discharges through the swan's mouth and through four dragons on the first pedestal and four griffins, between the first and second pans. Another furnishes a supply for one hundred and forty-four jets in the rim of the first pan, and eighty in the second, while the third pipe feeds the four cascades at the base of the pedestal. The water from the jets does not overflow the pan, but discharges through four gargoyle heads. The fountain proper is of bronzed iron and zinc, and was designed and constructed by Mr. M.D. Jones, of Boston. ... The basin was constructed by Jr. John Kelly, a Boston contractor ...
Mr. Lyman and Edward Everett were college classmates and life-long friends. Everett was a Dorchester native who was known for his oratory and became US Secretary of State.
Proceedings of the Dedication of the Fountain on Eaton Square, Ward 24, October 24, 1885, in memory of Theodore Lyman, Jr., Mayor of Boston in 1834-35.
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Created: August 17, 2003 Modified: December 6, 2003