Small Town History Revealed!

 

You may be surprised to know there is a historically significant water fountain in Edgewood, Iowa.  Right in front of our restored 1906 bank building, that now serves as Café Rose’ Cantina - Winery - Guest Suites, is a fountain dedicated to giving a cool drink of water.

 

This beautifully restored water fountain is one of only two in the entire state of Iowa and was constructed in the early 1900’s as a tribute by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) to honor a local woman named Thera B. True who was a union official.

 

“The purpose of the WCTU was to create a "sober and pure world" by abstinence, purity and evangelical Christianity. Annie Wittenmyer was its first president. Its second president, Frances Willard, a noted feminist, made the greatest leaps for the group. Its members were inspired by the Greek writer Xenophon, who defined temperance as "moderation in all things healthful; total abstinence from all things harmful." In other words, should something be good, it should not be indulged in to excess; should something be bad for you, it should be avoided altogether—thus their attempts to rid their surroundings of what they saw (and still see) as the dangers of alcohol.” (Source: Wikipedia).

 

For eight years Rosemary Totman restored the interior of the 1906 bank building into a restaurant, winery, and guest suites.  During the renovation the historic bank clock, which had been silent for the past 60 years, was removed, cleaned and restored to service (with financial support from community members and groups).

 

Also, during this renovation phase we obtained permission from our town’s elders to restore the old fountain which stands on the corner in front of our building.  The WCTU fountain was removed, sandblasted and powder coated, and re-plumbed. 

 

The historic building, chiming clock, and WCTU water fountain now stand as a reminder to our storied past and proudly reminds us of how working together can reinvigorate a downtown community.

 

For more information about WCTU water fountains visit: https://memorialdrinkingfountains.wordpress.com/

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