The Fountain Girl
In 1892, there was no refrigeration, little tap water, water-borne diseases, and definitely no canned pop or juices. So most Chicagoans, especially males, had a great reason to drink alcoholic beverages like beer, ale, wine and whiskey throughout the day. Productivity suffered, especially after lunch. Horses and wagons were constantly crashing on Chicago’s streets. Printed material was filled with spelling errors. Bricks were laid in a zigzag pattern. But hey, it was the only thing safe to drink. In 1893, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) wanted to put a stop to this, and they commissioned a water fountain for the Columbian Exposition, specifically to keep the men from the beer tents. Known as the “Fountain Girl,” it bears a striking resemblance to Savannah’s “Bird Girl” from “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” After a short stint at WCTU headquarters near LaSalle and Monroe, it was moved to Lincoln Park. The statue was stolen in 1958, but recast and placed in Lincoln Park just east of the Chicago History Museum in 2013, where park walkers, children and even dogs can get cool water during the warmer months.
Lincoln Park near LaSalle Underpass
Best of Chicago 2016