Spirit of The Sea Fountain

It was William Zorach who was chosen and invited by the Bath Garden Club to design and do the sculpture of this water fountain for the city park of Bath. He rendered to donate his work for as long as the Club would carry the costs including the bronze casting, the plumbing and the making of the granite pedestal and base.

It was in May of 1959 that the Bath Garden Club entered into this agreement and started raising the estimated cost of $15,000 for the fountain. Full support was also given and contributed by various universities, museums, newspapers and other members of the community. By November of the same year, a total of $6,900 was reached.

Unfortunately, when it reached December to about March of the following year, various controversies emerged regarding the choice of Zorach. All the fundraising activities were put to a halt. But sufficient research was made to refute all the false allegations. And then support was once again initiated.

By April of 1962, after all the court hearing activities and appeals to end all issues, the goal to raise $15,000 was reached and the work for the City Park starts.

William Zorach and the entire Bath Club joined forces to come up with the best sculptured fountain there is for the city park. By 1962, all their dreams became finally a reality as the fountain was installed introduced and the water was turned on and it was celebrated by all the citizens of Bath. The Maine Arts Commission now recognizes the Zorach Fountain as one of the finest pieces of outdoor sculptures in the entire state.

Through the years, the fountain suffered from tearing and wearing out caused by natural weather conditions and the likes. It had some surface deterioration along with some unusual cracks and its once amazing bronze colors have turned into something like mud.

During the spring season of 2002, the Bath Garden Club filed an application for a small grant coming from the Save Outdoor Sculpture group. It helped fund the research and investigation of the current state of the fountain and to give proper advise for its future preservation and restoration plans. The Zorachs recommended the Tuckerbrook Restorations and they submitted a detailed report with the estimates of the possible costs of the restorative work.

They figured out it would cost them about $16,000. The group Friends of the Zorach Fountain agreed to help the Bath Club in raising the said funding along with plans of installing a flood lighting system for the fountain as an add on. It would keep the visitors’ safety at night and serve as entertainment and a place of relaxing pleasure. With all these, the total costs ended up with $70,000.

By August of 2003, the group started a member ship campaign which gotten a total of 250 members. Since then, the restoration plans once again resumed and by 2004, the group once again launched yet another campaign which made them reach even beyond their $100,000 goal.