The Fountain Square

June 22, 2017

The Fountain Square has surely been a witness to a lot of social events that transpired in its immediate surroundings. There were activists who once marched around the area, trolleys hanging around, and parades of all types and sizes. During the ancient times, a lot of soldiers from the Civil War have known this place and a lot of farm animals were sold. Even beauty pageants have been held here and the welcoming home of veterans. Huge buildings have come and go too. And with all these, it is undeniable the Fountain Square remains as Bowling Green’s mighty touchstone to its historical and rich past.

Robert Moore was one of the primary sponsors of the fountain who donated two acres for public buildings by year 1797. On this very site used to stand a courthouse, a jail, a pillory, a clerk’s office and a market house all made of logs. It was just in 1813 that a new courthouse was built out of red bricks.

Right after the Civil War, people demanded for a brand new courthouse but it was erected somewhere else on the corner streets of Plain and Bridge. This property was traded up for the old square. After which, a majority of votes were made to make a part out of the square. But this had to wait for the new courthouse out of bricks to be finished first. It was John Cox Underwood who came up with a plan for the park in 1870. He planned to extend it to the new courthouse straight from Main Street. But it was due to limited fundings that the greater plans for this site did not push through.

On the other hand, it was Charles Ott, who was a stone mason who also the one in charge of carving the columns of the new courthouse, was assigned to create the two-tiered fountain made out of limestone that comes with a reflection pool. One can see a section of the original fountain at the back of the Historic Riverview.

It was in March 1872 when trees and shrubs began to be planted in the park by the sexton of Fairview Cemetery. It was in April of the same year when the four statues and the fountain were finally situated in the park and by April 23, the water was turned on. It was christened as the Fountain Park in May 1872 by the trustees of the city.

The amazing greenery of the park is said to be maintained by the collective efforts of the Bowling Green Garden Club. In 1934, the club assigned R.L. Sturtevant who was a landscape artist from Massachusetts to come up with a landscape design for the park. This particular plan was successfully implemented due to the funding given by the city government and contributions of many from the private sectors. To date, the park is being maintained and taken care of by the Landscape Division of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department and can be visited by any tourists who would be interested to see it first hand.