Corning Fountain at Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut
There are many ways to show tribute to your parents. One is having a structure built in their memory. When it comes to that, a good example would be the Corning Fountain.
The two-tiered fountain, located at Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut, was given to the city in 1899 by John Corning. He had the fountain built in memory of his father, John Benton Corning who was a businessman with a grist mill in Hartford. The fountain was designed by J. Massey Rhind, a sculptor who worked on several other memorial fountains.
Corning Fountain stands 30 feet tall and is made of marble and stone. It bears a statue of a deer in its center with sculptures of Saukiog Indians and Oneida maidens surrounding it. There are four figures of Saukiog Indians, all made of bronze. They are positioned around a pedestal in the lower basin of the fountain. The figure on the west side is a Saukiog brave holding a spear while on the opposite side the figure raises a tomahawk. The Saukiog on the fountain’s south side wears a feathered headdress and appears to be scanning the horizon while the north side statue holds a peacepipe and signals a sign of peace. A bronze hart tops the fountain’s upper basin. Water spouts from the four animal heads positioned below the upper basin. These animal figures are of a catamount, a bear, a fox and a beaver. On the lower basin, water is being spewed out by four lion heads. Water flows over the edge of the tiers and goes into the large concrete basin at the fountain’s base. On the bottom part of the stand, a bronze plate reads
THIS FOUNTAIN IS
ERECTED AS A TRIBUTE
TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN B. CORNING BY HIS SON
JOHN J. CORNING 1899.
If you are wondering what Saukiog is, and why it is incorporated in the fountain, better read on. Saukiog is a tribe of Native American people who resided in the vicinity of Hartford, Connecticut. They are believed to be the first people to inhabit the area in the early 1600s.
The fountain is one of the attractions at Bushnell Park. It is presented as one of the “things to see” in the park along with the Arch, Soldier & Sailors Memorial, an arch that was built to honor the 4,000 Hartford citizens who fought and served in the Civil War as well as the 400 people who died for the union; The Carousel which is a vintage 1914 carousel brought by the Knox Foundation from Canton, Ohio; the Champion Trees which is a plot of rare and native trees including the Japanese Pagoda, Chinese Toon and varieties of Maple, Oak and Ash; the Horace Wells Statue and Israel Putnam Statue; the Performance Pavilion that houses theaters, music, and dance performances by local artists and community based performing groups; The Pond; the Pumphouse Gallery which is the only public gallery in a municipal park in Connecticut; the Spanish American War Memorial and the State Capitol Building.