Effort to preserve ‘Fountain on the Green’ receives youthful helping hand

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Brandon Hawks sells sweets to raise money for Naugatuck's fountain.

Naugatuck’s “Fountain on the Green” is a historical monument donated by John Howard Whittemore in 1895. It was designed by the very famous architects McKim, Mead and White. This beautiful pink granite monument is in need of repair and the restoration of the fountain. Many have come forth with their knowledge to help make the fountain work, but with no lasting results, until Mr. Tom LaPorta offered to give it a try.

Tom, his wife, Aldona, and Marty-Lee Fenton have worked on this project for five years and have had tremendous success. Tom’s dedication and ability to redo and repair at his own expense has had lasting results, and the lion has roared with water since then.

The plumbing was changed to a new system, and repairs were made to fix many leaks, etc. However, the restoration came to a halt this past summer, as there’s one remaining leak in the top of the fountain that can’t be reached. The top of the fountain must come off to fix this leak.

About $10,000 is needed to complete the renovations. Many have stepped forward to help complete the project.

At a concert series this summer, 12-year-old Brandon Hawks, asked how he could help the cause. He, his mom and grandmother baked cookies and cupcakes and Brandon sold them at a concert in July. He raised another $60.90.

In early June, the third grade class of Mrs. Marybeth Schmaling took on the fountain on as a special project, studying about it and the history of Naugatuck. They had a penny collection and presented the Historical Society Fountain Fund with $36.57. They also wrote letters about their interest and made posters of the running fountain.

With the help of events on the green, the public has become aware of the obstacle facing the effort to get the fountain working once again. People, several banks, and organizations have made donations that are presently over $7,500.

At a concert in August, youngster Andrew Treater and his cousin, Emma Lewis collected another $54 for the fund.

These young people are but a few that have taken a real interest in Naugatuck’s history and heritage.

The goal is to complete the project by the spring. The only other obstacle is the antiquated electrical system on the back of the fountain has to be removed and replaced.

There currently isn’t enough money to replace the system. The group is seeking electrical volunteers to help in the project.

The Naugatuck Historical Society has set up a special “Fountain on the Green” fund to raise the necessary money for the repairs and restoration. Donations may be made to the Naugatuck Historical Society, 195 Water St., Naugatuck, CT, 06770, noted for the “Restoration of the Fountain.”