The Fireman’s Drinking Fountain is a local attraction/museum in the heart of Slatington, Lehigh County, in the state of Pennsylvania. Built in 1909, it features a 12-foot high monument coupled with a 7-foot and 3-inches of a statue of a volunteer fireman. He is holding a child using his left hand while there is a lantern in his right. The statue, which by the way is made of zinc, was built and manufactured by the J.W. Fiske & Company.
In 1979, the statue was accidentally hit by a vehicle, destroying the most part of it. However, it was immediately restored and eventually was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, or roughly two years after it was restored. It is currently an icon for the brave firemen of Slatington, Pennsylvania.
The Fireman’s Drinking Fountain was eventually dedicated in 1909 by Hose Company #1, Slatington. The statue, as mentioned earlier, was purchased from J.W. Fiske Iron Works in New York City for $700. It is a strong and charismatic symbol depicting a volunteer fireman who is carrying a child on his left arm and at the same time holding a lantern on the right. The lantern is designed to show that it is illuminated with an electric bulb to be used at night.
The statue is presently erected right at the center of the Borough of Slatington, which primarily serves as a supply for a public water source on Main Street. And yes, the fountain was originally intended to provide drinking fountain for people as well as a drinking area for dogs and horses. The purchase price of the statue was raised through the help and donations of Slatington PA local residents.
Today, it is not just a drinking fountain. It is a symbol of volunteer service, vigilance, and humanity in general. However, most people, especially visitors and tourists think it memorializes a deceased firefighter. It actually isn’t designed for that kind of impression. Instead, the statue honors the living and the spirit of voluntary service in the entire Slatington area. And right after it was damaged in October 1979, it was immediately restored, suggesting that it is something that the people of Slatington value a lot. After it underwent restoration, it was rededicated on the 19th of July, 1980.
Visit the Fireman’s Drinking Fountain on Main Street, which is adjacent to the Slatington Public Library.