The Town Pump Fountain, designed by John F. Collins, has proudly stood at the beginning of the pedestrian mall in Salem, Mass for over 36 years. Tonight (2/12/14) the Salem City Council will vote on whether to fund its restoration. A yes vote would allow this remarkable fountain to flow again. Salemís Town Pump fountain stands on the very spot of a natural spring, which then became the first town watering pump. The fountain consists of a basin, lined with local cobble stones and bordered by slightly raised steps. Three concrete panels are positioned in an H formation, allowing a waterfall to tumble down the center. Two of the concrete panels contain rectangular bronze plaques. One describes the inspiration for the fountain: a short story, ďA Rill from the Town Pump,Ē by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the story, the narrator assumes the voice of the town pump, sharing its encounters with Native American sagamores, early settlers, Endicott, baptized children, farmers, dogs, and even the town drunk. Illustrations accompany the story on the other plaque If the Town Pump continued his story, what would he say about the townsfolk of 2014? Do they still drink from him? Will they save him? Will they restore him to full working order? Could the CPA be the next stage of his sage? Don't let hundreds of years of tradition end with us. Please support the fountain.

John Francis Collins (1937 - 2012): Pioneering Landscape Architect

Major Projects:
Delancey Park, Philadelphia 19 65
Soceity Hill, Philadelphia 1965
Rittenhouse Square Master Plan, Philadelphia 1965
Reston New Town, Virginia Mid - 1960s
Schuylkill River Park Phase 1, Philadelphia 1965-1995
Heritage Plaza East, Downtown Salem, MA 1972-1983
University of Pennsylvania, Fine Arts Plan 1972
South Fork of Long Island Environmental Planning 1975
Trans-Alaska Pipeline Visual Impact Engineering Program 1975
Philadelphia Valley Forge Trail 1975
Interstate 95 Expressway Cover Park, Philadelphia 1976
East Hampton, NY Village Business District Plan 1976
Penn Square, Reading 1976
PSFS Plaza, Philadelphia 1976
Chestnut Street Park, Philadelphia 1978 National Aquarium Phase II Competition, Baltimore, MD 1983
Crotona Park Master Plan, Bronx New York 1985

1959 - Jackson-Perkins Residential Design Competition; First Place
1962 - Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship, Harvard Graduate School of Design
1964 - Progressive Design Award for 11th and Waverly Street Town Houses in Philadelphia
1965 - Progressive Design Citation Award in Residential Design on Pastorius Mews for Besy Ross Corporation in Philadelphia
1965 - AIA Citation for Excellence in Community Architecture for rehabilitation of Society Hill in Philadelphia
1966 - Progressive Design Citation Award in Urban Design on town houses for Washington Street East Unit #2 in Philadelphia
1966 - US Department of Housing and Urban Development Honor Award: Design Excellence for Delancey Park in Philadelphia
1968 - ASLA Honor Award: Recreational Planning for Schuylkill River Park in Philadelphia
1972 - ASLA, Institutional Planning, Honor Award, Campus Fine Arts Study for the University of Pennsylvania
1972 - Fifth Biennial HUD Award for Design Excellence, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, for Heritage Plaza East in Salem, MA
1976 - ASLA, Urban Design Award, Merit Award for Penn Square in Reading, PA
1978 - Chestnut Street Park Compeition, Philadelphia, PA, First Place
1979 - Urban Design Newsletter, Urban Design Award for Coldspring/Newtown in Maryland
1979 - Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Landscape Design Award, Heritage Plaza East, Salem MA
1980 - US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Honor Award for Heritage Plaza East, Salem, MA
1980 - Associated Landscape Contractors of America, Environmental Improvement Award, Judges Award for Chesnut Park in Philadelphia
1981 - Boston Society of Architects Urban Design Award for Downtown Salem, MA
1983 - ASLA Honor Award, Parks and Recrational Planning for Chesnut Park in Philadelphia
1983 - ASLA Honor Award, Urban Design for Downtown Salem, MA Central Business District Plan - Heritage Plaza East/West
1984 - Alumni Achievement Award, School of Arts and Architecture Pennsylvania State University
1985 - Crotona Park Master Plan, New York, NY; First Place
1989 - Foundation for Architecture, Award of Excellence for Market Street Improvement Program in Philadelphia
1990 - Foundation for Architecture Urban Design Award
1993 - Investiture as Fellow of American Society of Landscape Architects
1995 - Distinguished Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
1999 - Lifetime Achievement Award, ASLA Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter, Lighting Ceremony and Dedication of Schuylkill River Park
2006 - Distinguished Service Award, ASLA Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter

From Twice-Told Tales 1837, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864
A Rill from the Town Pump

(SCENE--the corner of two principal streets. The TOWN-PUMP talking through its nose.)

NOON, by the north clock! Noon, by the east! High noon, too, by these hot sunbeams, which fall, scarcely aslope, upon my head, and almost make the water bubble and smoke, in the trough under my nose. Truly, we public characters have a tough time of it! And, among all the town-officers, chosen at March meeting, where is he that sustains, for a single year, the burthen of such manifold duties as are imposed, in perpetuity, upon the Town-Pump? The title of "town-treasurer" is rightfully mine, as guardian of the best treasure, that the town has. The overseers of the poor ought to make me their chairman, since I provide bountifully for the pauper, without expense to him that pays taxes. I am at the head of the fire-department, and one of the physicians to the board of health. As a keeper of the peace, all water-drinkers will confess me equal to the constable. I perform some of the duties of the town clerk, by promulgating public notices, when they are posted on my front. To speak within bounds, I am the chief person of the municipality, and exhibit, moreover, an admirable pattern to my brother officers, by the cool, steady, upright, downright, and impartial discharge of my business, and the constancy with which I stand to my post. Summer or winter, nobody seeks me in vain; for, all day long, I am seen at the busiest corner, just above the market, stretching out my arms, to rich and poor alike; and at night, I hold a lantern over my head, both to show where I am, and keep people out of the gutters.

At this sultry noontide, I am cup-bearer to the parched populace, for whose benefit an iron goblet is chained to my waist. Like a dram-seller on the mall, at muster-day, I cry aloud to all and sundry, in my plainest accents, and at the very tip-top of my voice. Here it is, gentlemen! Here is the good liquor! Walk up, walk up, gentlemen, walk up, walk up! Here is the superior stuff! Here is the unadulterated ale of father Adam--better than Cognac, Hollands, Jamaica, strong-beer, or wine of any price; here it is, by the hogshead or the single glass, and not a cent to pay! Walk up, gentlemen, walk up, and help yourselves!

It were a pity, if all this outcry should draw no customers. Here they come. A hot day, gentlemen! Quaff, and away again, so as to keep yourselves in a nice cool sweat. You, my friend, will need another cup-full, to wash the dust out of your throat, if it be as thick there as it is on your cowhide shoes. I see that you have trudged half a score of miles, to day; and, like a wise man, have passed by the taverns, and stopped at the running-brooks and well-curbs. Otherwise, betwixt heat without and fire within, you would have been burnt to a cinder, or melted down to nothing at all, in the fashion of a jelly-fish. Drink, and make room for that other fellow, who seeks my aid to quench the fiery fever of last night's potations, which he drained from no cup of mine. Welcome, most rubicund Sir! You and I have been great strangers, hitherto; nor, to confess the truth, will my nose be anxious for a closer intimacy, till the fumes of your breath be a little less potent. Mercy on you, man! The water absolutely hisses down your red-hot gullet, and is converted quite to steam, in the miniature tophet, which you mistake for a stomach. Fill again, and tell me, on the word of an honest toper, you ever, in cellar, tavern, or any kind of a dram-shop, spend the price of your children's food, for a swig half so delicious? Now, for the first time these ten years, you know the flavor of cold water. Good b'ye; and, whenever you are thirsty, remember that I keep a constant supply, at the old stand. Who next? Oh, my little friend, you are let loose from school, and come hither to scrub your blooming face, and drown the memory of certain taps of the fertile, and other school-boy troubles, in a draught from the TownPump. Take it, pure as the current of your young life. Take it, and may your heart and tongue never be scorched with a fiercer thirst than now! There, my dear child, put down the cup, and yield your place to this elderly gentleman, who treads so tenderly over the paving-stones, that I suspect he is afraid of breaking them. What! He limps by, without so much as thanking me, as if my hospitable offers were meant only for people, who have no wine-cellars. Well, well, sir--no harm done, I hope! Go draw the cork, tip the decanter; but, when your great-toe shall set you a-roaring, it will be no affair of mine. If gentlemen love the pleasant titillation of the gout, it is all one to the Town-Pump. This thirsty dog, with his red tongue lolling out, does not scorn my hospitality, but stands on his hind-legs, and laps eagerly out of the trough. See how lightly he capers away again! Jowler, did your worship ever have the gout?

Are you all satisfied? Then wipe your mouths, my good friends; and, while my spout has a moment's leisure, I will delight the town with a few historical reminiscences. In far antiquity, beneath a darksome shadow of venerable boughs, a spring bubbled out of the leaf-strewn earth, in the very spot where you now behold me, on the sunny pavement. The water was as bright and clear, and deemed as precious, as liquid diamonds. The Indian sagamores drank of it, from time immemorial, till the fatal deluge of the fire-water burst upon the red men, and swept their whole race away from the cold fountains. Endicott, and his followers, came next, and often knelt down to drink, dipping their long beards in the spring. The richest goblet, then, was of birch-bark. Governor Winthrop, after a journey afoot from Boston, drank here, out of the hollow of his hand. The elder Higginson here wet his palm, and laid it on the brow of the first townborn child. For many years, it was the watering-place, and, as it were, the wash-bowl of the vicinity--whither all decent folks resorted, to purify their visages, and gaze at them afterwards--at least, the pretty maidens did--in the mirror which it made. On Sabbath-days, whenever a babe was to be baptized, the sexton filled his basin here, and placed it on the communion-table of tile humble meeting-house, which partly covered the site of yonder stately brick one. Thus, one generation after another was consecrated to Heaven by its waters, and cast their waxing and waning shadows into its glassy bosom, and vanished from the earth, as if mortal life were but a flitting image in a fountain. Finally, the fountain vanished also. Cellars were dug on all sides; and cart-loads of gravel flung upon its source, whence oozed a turbid stream, forming a mud-puddle, at the corner of two streets. In the hot months, when its refreshment was most needed, the dust flew in clouds over the forgotten birthplace of the waters, now their grave. But, in the course of time, a Town-Pump was sunk into the source of the ancient spring; and when the first decayed, another took its place--and then another, and still another--till here stand I, gentlemen and ladies, to serve you with my iron goblet. Drink, and be refreshed! The water is as pure and cold as that which slaked the thirst of the red sagamore, beneath aged boughs, though now the gem of the wilderness is treasured under these hot stones, where no shadow falls, but from the brick buildings. And be it the moral of my story, that, as this wasted and long-lost fountain is now known and prized again, so shall the virtues of cold water, too little valued since your fathers' days, be recognized by all.

Your pardon, good people! I must interrupt my stream of eloquence, and spout forth a stream of water, to replenish the trough for this teamster and his two yoke of oxen, who have come from Topsfield, or somewhere along that way. No part of my business is pleasanter than the watering of cattle. Look! how rapidly they lower the water-mark on the sides of the trough, till their capacious stomachs are moistened with a gallon or two apiece, and they can afford time to breathe it in, with sighs of calm enjoyment. Now they roll their quiet eyes around the brim of their monstrous drinking vessel. An ox is your true toper.

But I perceive, my dear auditors, that you are impatient for the remainder of my discourse. Impute it, I beseech you, to no defect of modesty, if I insist a little longer on so fruitful a topic as my own multifarious merits. It is altogether for your good. The better you think of me, the better men and women will you find yourselves. I shall say nothing of my all-important aid on washing-days; though, on that account alone, I might call myself the household-god of a hundred families. Far be it from me, also, to hint, my respectable friends, at the show of dirty faces, which you would present, without my pains to keep you clean. Nor will I remind you how often, when the midnight-bells make you tremble for your combustible town, you have fled to the Town-Pump, and found me always at my post, firm, amid the confusion, and ready to drain my vital current in your behalf. Neither is it worth while to lay much stress on my claims to a medical diploma, as the physician, whose simple rule of practice is preferable to all the nauseous lore, which has found men sick or left them so, since the days of Hippocrates. Let us take a broader view of my beneficial influence on mankind.

No; these are trifles, compared with the merits which wise men concede to me--if not in my single self, yet as the representative of a class--of being the grand reformer of the age. From my spout, and such spouts as mine, must flow the stream, that shall cleanse our earth of the vast portion of its crime and anguish, which has gushed from the fiery fountains of the still. In this mighty enterprise, the cow shall be my great confederate. Milk and water! The TOWNPUMP and the Cow! Such is the glorious copartnership,that shall tear down the distilleries and brew-houses, uproot the vineyards, shatter the cider-presses, ruin the tea and coffee trade, and, finally monopolize the whole business of quenching thirst. Blessed consummation! Then, Poverty shall pass away from the land, finding no hovel so wretched, where her squalid form may shelter itself. Then Disease, for lack of other victims, shall gnaw its own heart, and die. Then Sin, if she do not die, shall lose half her strength. Until now, the phrensy of hereditary fever has raged in the human blood, transmitted from sire to son, and re-kindled, in every generation, by fresh draughts of liquid flame. When that inward fire shall be extinguished, the heat of passion cannot but grow cool, and war--the drunkenness of nations--perhaps will cease. At least, there will be no war of households. The husband and wife, drinking deep of peaceful joy--a calm bliss of temperate affections--shall pass hand in hand through life, and lie down, not reluctantly, at its protracted close. To them, the past will be no turmoil of mad dreams, nor the future an eternity of such moments as follow the delirium of the drunkard. Their dead faces shall express what their spirits were, and are to be, by a lingering smile of memory and hope.

Ahem! Dry work, this speechifying; especially to an unpractised orator. I never conceived, till now, what toil the temperance-lecturers undergo for my sake. Hereafter, they shall have the business to themselves. Do, some kind Christian, pump a stroke or two, just to wet my whistle. Thank you, sir! My dear hearers, when the world shall have been regenerated, by my instrumentality, you will collect your useless vats and liquor-casks, into one great pile, and make a bonfire, in honor of the Town-Pump. And, when I shall have decayed, like my predecessors, then, if you revere my memory, let a marble fountain, richly sculptured, take my place upon this spot. Such monuments should be erected everywhere, and inscribed with the names of the distinguished champions of my cause. Now listen; for something very important is to come next.

There are two or three honest friends of mine--and true friends, I know, they are--who, nevertheless, by their fiery pugnacity in my behalf, do put me in fearful hazard of a broken nose, or even of a total overthrow upon the pavement, and the loss of the treasure which I guard. I pray you, gentlemen, let this fault be amended. Is it decent, think you, to get tipsy with zeal for temperance, and take up the honorable cause of the Town-Pump, in the style of a toper fighting for his brandy-bottle? Or, can the excellent qualities of cold water be no otherwise exemplified, than by plunging, slapdash, into hot-water, and wofully scalding yourselves and other people? Trust me, they may. In the moral warfare, which you are to wage--and, indeed, in the whole conduct of your lives--you cannot choose a better example than myself, who have never permitted the dust, and sultry atmosphere, the turbulence and manifold disquietudes of the world around me, to reach that deep, calm well of purity, which may be called my soul. And whenever I pour out that soul, it is to cool earth's fever, or cleanse its stains.

One o'clock! Nay, then, if the dinner-bell begins to speak, I may as well hold my peace. Here comes a pretty young girl of my acquaintance, with a large stone-pitcher for me to fill. May she draw a husband, while drawing her water, as Rachel did of old. Hold out your vessel, my dear! There it is, full to the brim; so now run home, peeping at your sweet image in the pitcher, as you go; and forget not, in a glass of my own liquor, to drink--"SUCCESS TO THE TOWN PUMP!"