Narcissa Whitman Fountain & Statue
Name: Narcissa Whitman Fountain & Statue
Erected: 1899 by Mary Ball Chapter, bronze & iron
Location: approx. GPS 47.261370, -122.450405 (former location), Wright Park, Tacoma, WA, 98405
Comments: The Mary Ball Chapter answered the need of a drinking fountain in Wright Park for children. The chapter spearheaded the effort to erect the fountain in 1899. The schoolchildren of Tacoma, the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, and the park commissioners raised money to erect the fountain with the statue above it. The bronzed iron fountain was manufactured in New York at a cost of $400. The maiden portrayed in the statue held a water jug on her hip. The fountain was envisioned as a worthy memorial to Narcissa Whitman.
Mary Ball chapter and the city of Tacoma dedicated the memorial on 28 October 1899. The day after the ceremony the newspaper headline stated the “First Memorial to the Woman Who Aided in the Opening and Saving of Washington to the Union Is Dedicated to the Public…”
In the early 1970s, vandals destroyed the statue. Metro Parks Tacoma dismantled and placed the fountain in storage to await restoration. In 2011 Mary Ball chapter obtained a quote from a local art studio to restore the fountain and reproduce the statue; the quote was over $30,000. There are no current plans to re-erect the fountain.
1. Scrapbook #1, 1894-1916, Mary Ball Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, WSSDAR Collection, Yakima Valley Genealogical Society, Union Gap, WA.