Poughkeepsie activates Soldiers Memorial Fountain for Memorial Day

Rolison at Soldiers Memorial Fountain

POUGHKEEPSIE – Without a large gathering, Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison and city workers returned water to the Soldiers Memorial Fountain on Friday, a tribute to Union soldiers who perished.  The fountain and park are located at a triangular piece of land at the intersection of Montgomery and Market Streets in the city.

The monument, one of four in existence, is a tribute to Union soldiers who gave their lives during the Civil War.  The mayor called the monument “An important part of Poughkeepsie,” and said that the city wanted to get it up and running before Memorial Day on Monday.

“It’s a different kind of Memorial Day this year,” the mayor said, noting that veterans will not gather at the fountain on Monday as they have done for years to mark the somber day.

The fountain, capped by the Goddess Demeter, features 24 water jets that were imported from Paris during the construction in the 1800s.  The monument was dedicated in Poughkeepsie on July 4, 1870.  This year will mark the 150th anniversary of the tribute to fallen soldiers.

Two other fountains cast from the same mold in New York City were placed in Savannah, Georgia, and Madison, Indiana with the fourth delivered to Cusco, Peru.  The most notable, and often referred to as the Poughkeepsie twin, is in Savannah.

Rolison plans to work with the southern city to hold a joint celebration.  “Will it happen on the 4th of July? – Probably not,” said Rolison, adding that at some point, the day will be commemorated.

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