UPDATE: City continues to seek funding for fountain replacement

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PARKERSBURG W.Va, (WTAP) - Update: 6/6/2019

The city of Parkersburg continues its efforts to replace a long-time attraction at City Park-one heavily damaged during a wind storm last fall.

The city has determined it will cost $370,000 to replace what is formally named the "Jackson Memorial Fountain". It is dedicated to the prominent Jackson family which includes Gen. John Jay Jackson, who attended the first Wheeling Convention on West Virginia statehood, and his sons, including a former West Virginia governor and congressman.

The city has set aside $208,830 for the project. That includes $60,000 in insurance money, It has roughly $161,000 in a trust set aside in the will of Catherine Downey Jackson, who died in 1992.

But when that money was set aside, the donor said in her gift to the city the money could only be used for maintaining the fountain, not replacing it.

The city is seeking the use of the money through legal remedies.

In a court finding, the city says some parts of the existing fountain can be salvaged, but that other parts, including the main part of the structure-the bowl-has to be replaced.

The fountain was purchased in New York City and constructed at the 17th Street and Park Avenue entrance to the park. It was officially unveiled in 1906.

UPDATE 1/17/19 7:14 P.M.

The Parkersburg Finance Committee met Thursday night to talk about budget revisions. That meeting also included talking about budgeting for the restoration of the history of Jackson Memorial Fountain.

The fountain at Parkersburg City Park was ruined in a storm in Mid-October. The finance committee is going to ask the full council to approve $357,000 for the project.

About $147,000 of that is contingent on approval from the Jackson family to change the maintenance fund to a restoration fund. Two of the four family members have already approved.

The finance committee says $150,000 will help the rebuild the rest of the fountain. About $60,000 came from the insurance company.

This will be on council's agenda Tuesday, January 22, 2019. If council votes yes to approve the money, the mayor could then put the project out to bid.

UPDATE 1/16/19

The Parkersburg finance committee will meet Thursday to discuss budget revisions, including the replication of the fountain at City Park.

The Jackson Memorial Fountain was badly damaged in a storm in mid-October. Mayor Tom Joyce says the finance and public works directors have been working out the details to get the fountain replicated.

Mayor Joyce says it will cost around $260,000 to replicate the fountain, but that doesn't include the pumps to make the water flow, or other additional fees that will come with its restoration.

The city has money from an insurance settlement but will also ask the airs to the Jackson family if it can use maintenance funds for the restoration replication.

“There are very limited amount of organizations or persons in the country and probably the world that do that kind of work.” Explains Mayor Joyce “So that's been the first piece is really having to reach out and find a contractor of repute with legitimate experience in restoration replication of a piece of art like this that was commissioned in 1902.”

The city plans to renovate the whole area around the fountain to its original design, with the archway and steps.

UPDATED 11/19/18

City officials are working on solidifying plans regarding the fountain at Parkersburg City Park.

The city’s Public Works office says that they have been scheduling meetings and working together to make plans about the future of the Jackson Memorial Fountain that sits at the 17th street and Park Avenue entrance to Parkersburg City Park.

Currently, they are in communication with an insurance company discussing possible options for the landmark.

The 112-year-old fountain was badly damaged in a storm in mid-October.

It served as a monument to the Jackson family who were prominent in the Mid-Ohio Valley in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.


High winds over the weekend toppled over a piece of Parkersburg history.

The Jackson Memorial Fountain at City Park has stood at the entrance of 17th street and Park Avenue since October of 1906. The fountain is a monument to the Jackson family, who were prominent in this area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

While the fountain served as a welcome to the City Park, high winds over the weekend caused a portion of the fountain to fall.

“It is really a tragedy that it came down, although over the years it has had other difficulties… The metal was very brittle and as a matter of fact, talking with one of the park supervisors here, it’s one reason that they’ve haven’t been able to do much with it, is because the metal was just so weak,” explains Bob Enoch of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Commission.

Everett Shears with the Public Works Department for the City of Parkersburg told WTAP on Monday that there are currently no plans on what to do with the fountain.

They also say that is subject to change.

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