Newsboy fountain in Great Barrington will turn on soon

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GREAT BARRINGTON — A lion, cat, dog and Satan will once again be spouting water from their mouths.

The fountain in the oldest newsboy statue in the world now has its own water line.

It is also about to get its annual dose of loving care.

The bronze monument to newsboys everywhere will, later this month, get inspected, cleaned and waxed, said Paul Ivory, chairman of the town's Historical Commission.

And a pressure reducer will be added to the water line before it is turned on in the next two weeks, said Sean Van Deusen, superintendent of the Department of Public Works.

The rainy weather has delayed all of this work, he added.

Dedicated in 1895, the fountain used to serve as a drinking trough for horses, according to local historian Bernard Drew, in his exhaustive book about the town.

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Sitting at the intersection of Maple Avenue (Route 23) and Silver Street, road salt and acid rain have taken their toll. But the town has spruced up the Newsboy over the years.

The statue was repaired in 1995, the year of its centennial. In 2016, a Community Preservation Act grant went towards cleaning up corrosion and adding protection, as well as fixing the fountain.

The yearly maintenance is usually done in the fall, but dust and dirt from a water main replacement on Maple Avenue pushed the work to the spring, Ivory said.

Col. William Brown, a part-owner of the New York Daily News commissioned the statute and had it placed near his Locustwood Estate on Silver Street.

Brown did it out of gratitude for those young ones who flung the papers, Drew wrote.

"His paper succeeded because of a loyal and hardworking crew of newsboys."

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871


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