NAUGATUCK — The lion may roar on the Naugatuck Green again with the help of an 8-year-old borough boy.
For the past 10 years, Marty Lee Fenton, treasurer of the Naugatuck Historical Society, has been raising money through the society in an effort to restore the pink marble decorative fountain on the Green to its original grandeur.
Fenton recalled when she was young people would hang out on the Green and around the fountain.
“We have wonderful memories of the fountain,” said Fenton. “When we got out of school, we all used to meet on the green. It used to be a very busy place”
For the past two years, Fenton and the historical society has had some fundraising help from Andrew Treater of Naugatuck.
Treater, 8, became interested in the fountain when he went to a concert on the Green and noticed the fountain wasn’t running. Treater saw Fenton sitting near the fountain, collecting funds and asked her if he could help.
“This fountain is a really historical thing for Naugatuck, and I would like to get it up and running,” said Treater, who was collecting donations during a concert on the Green Tuesday night. “I like it here on the Green.”
Treater began his fundraising effort by going around to people at the summer concerts and explaining the history of the fountain. In the first year he raised approximately $55 and in the second year he raised approximately $60. This year he has raised approximately $300 dollars towards the fountain.
The last time the fountain was turned on was Memorial Day two years ago.
The fountain stopped running because of the electrical boxes that were attached to it, Fenton explained. The boxes, over the years, caused the pipe to leak and to stop working all together.
Repairs have been done to the fountain in the past to try and get it back into a working state, but nothing has fixed the problem, she said.
According to Fenton, the electrical boxes need to be moved, the entire top of the fountain needs to be lifted off, and the pipes need to be replaced.
This project will cost approximately $10,000 to complete. The historical society has already raised about $8,000.
The fountain was commissioned by John Howard Whittemore in 1895 and was to serve as one of the center pieces of the Green. It was built out of pink marble and designed by McKim, Mead & White Architectural Firm, who also designed the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
The water that poured out of the fountain originally came from the hill behind City Hill Middle School. However, when it is restored, it will be on the borough’s water line.
On Tuesday the fountain had stagnant water in the main trough and debris and garbage in the bottom trough. The lion’s head where the water should pour out is dry and stained.
“As you can see, right now it’s not what it used to be,” Treater said, comparing the fountain with a picture of it from years ago.