National Humane Alliance Lion Head Fountain

In 2004 I was commissioned by students at the School of Mines to recreate these bronze lion heads. The original bronzes and plaque were stolen off the granite National Human Alliance fountain that was once stood in the middle of the intersection of main and 7th in downtown Rapid City, SD. If you are interested in ordering one or more of these of these castings to restore your fountain contact, John Lopez Studio ~

 The excerpt below is from an article in the Rapid City Journal

 The fountain is the legacy of Hermon Lee Ensign. Before his death in 1899, Ensign made his fortune in publishing and advertising. He was also founder of the Humane Alliance, a group dedicated to improving the lives of horses and other beasts of burden.
When he died, a large portion of his estate went to the Humane Alliance's drinking fountain program. The group donated at least 130 fountains to municipalities in 44 states. They were of various designs. Most were made of polished Maine granite and trimmed in bronze. Rapid City's fountain is one of the few surviving round fountains.
It was topped by a large electric light. Water poured from two lion heads into the horse trough. At the base, two smaller water-filled troughs allowed cats and dogs to drink. Water also flowed from a small alcove above the horse trough. Steilow believes there was once a tin cup in the alcove, affording humans a drink of water as well.
It is unclear exactly when the fountain was moved away from its downtown site. It spent time in Halley Park. And in recent years, it has been a centerpiece in the flower gardens at Sioux Park, near the city Parks Department headquarters on Canyon Lake Drive.

A couple years after installing the two lion heads on the fountain in Rapid City I was asked to recreate two more slightly larger lion heads for a flat fountain in Derby, Connecticut. 

Here is the fountain in Derby after they installed the bronzes I sculpted for them.

Here is another very interesting link to the history of these fountains.

Some of the fountains had a square column in the middle and some had a round one.  So when you order one from me you will have to specify if yours is round or square.  If the back of lion head should  round to fit on a circular column or if it can be mounted on a flat surface.  If you are interested in ordering one or more of these of these castings to restore your fountain contact, John Lopez Studio ~

1 comment:

  1. Have you heard about the Mustangs, the wild horses that are losing a battle for their lives? Is there anything you can do to help? Sally Sommers, is the woman who is trying to help this majestic creatures live. Sally is on Face Book as well. Could you at least check into this problem? These poor horses are being murdered.