Brooks Memorial Fountain is a beautiful water display that has been operating for more than 80 years. It is located at Marshall City, standing near the intersection of M-227 and Michigan Avenue. The city of Marshall regards the fountain as one of its crown jewels.
Before there was Brooks Memorial Fountain, the site was once the location of the city’s first courthouse. It was in 1876 when the courthouse was removed from the West End Park. It was replaced by a bandstand. The bandstand, which cost the city $200, was moved to Jim Cox’s home in 1876 at the northwest corner of the park. A pool was then built at the empty spot until it was removed in 1929 to give space to Brooks Fountain.
Brooks Memorial Fountain was erected to honor the memory of C.E. Brooks. Harold C. Brooks presented it to the city of Marshall on July 3, 1930 for his father. The fountain, which adorns the center of the West End Park, bears a Greek Doric design. Its central structure replicates the Temple of Love in the garden of Marie Antoinette at Versailles, France. 96 different combinations of color and water effects are displayed in the fountain in a ten-minute cycle while thirty-five 1000-watt colored projectors provide the illumination of the piece.
In 1976, the city of Marshall restored the memorial fountain as an American Bicentennial project.
As stated, several repairs and restorations have been done on the fountain. But the piece still required a major restoration project. The fountain reached a point where its electrical and mechanical systems were no longer functioning smoothly. Despite many repairs, the parts’ life spans have simply reached their end. This major renovation effort cost the city thousands of dollars as availability of parts for a system as old as that of Brooks’ were quite difficult to find. Also, the fountain’s outdated lighting system was a little inefficient in terms of power conservation. As a solution, LED lights were used as replacement to the old lighting system since they are more environmental friendly and are most cost efficient. In addition to efficiency, the use of LED lights also gave way to a wider range of color combinations.
With all the restoration projects, Brooks Memorial Fountain maintained its beauty. From being a mere gift to the city, the fountain has become an icon to residents of Marshall and to their way of living. It has become a piece that symbolizes the people of the city and the values they promote within their community. Standing proudly at the heart of the town, it speaks of hospitality as it invites people to sit and view its impressive light and water display during the hazy hours of summer nights. Until now, it serves the people by being a wonderful backdrop in numerous wedding pictures as many couples choose the fountain place as wedding venue. As some people say, it would be hard to imagine Marshall City without the fountain, its beautiful display of water and brilliant changing colors.