Images & Observations

Never Deny A Thirsty Man His Drink

Nikon D80 18-135mm @ 31mm ISO 160 3-bkts f/22 Lr3; HDR Efex Pro

Since the 19th century the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) has existed and been engaged in fighting alcoholism and tobacco use.  A local chapter of the WCTU was established in Chino, California in 1896.  In the latter part of the 19th century and in the early 20th century local WCTU chapters would erect public drinking water fountains in towns where anyone could drink for free, as an alternative to buying a drink in a saloon.  The WCTU believed in never denying a thirsty man an opportunity to have a drink of water.

In 1908 the Chino chapter of the WCTU erected a public fountain at the corner of 6th & D Street in the middle of town.  Soon after, the same year, the fountain was destroyed by an out of control horseless carriage crashing in to it.  (It is not recorded whether or not the horseless carriage was  being piloted by an irate saloon owner, or not.)

In recognition of the city’s history, and possibly as a method of signaling our community values, city officials effected the erection of a working replica drinking fountain in the same general location in 2010, so that once again, no man will leave Chino thirsty.

Author’s Note: Today’s image and the rest of this week’s images are part of my ongoing Another Time series, remembering and celebrating life during earlier eras in our collective history (particularly between the middle of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century).  I am always on the lookout for examples of life in America in earlier times and welcome readers to suggest any Southern California sites to include in my documentation.

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9 responses

  1. ken bello

    Great image, Wayne. Very nice texture. The story of the WCTU is interesting. Local history is something that can make a compelling read, especially for others who are unfamiliar with the area.

    March 20, 2011 at 5:47 AM

    • Thanks, Ken, always appreciate your comments. I do think it enhances my readers’ experiences if I can provide some narrative of my own experience as I captured an image, or what I learned as a result of my coming across a particular object or scene.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM

  2. Fascinating image & background story.

    March 20, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    • Thanks, Mark, not quite as urbane as your street images 😉

      March 21, 2011 at 10:23 AM

  3. Stanley

    The look you’ve achieved brings to mind some sort of religious artifact such as the Kabala in Mecca (I guess more properly “Makkah” now).

    It also makes me think of the great story that fresh water has played here in our own little man made Oasis. If you haven’t read the book “William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles” it is great local history by one of the giants of Southern California.

    Mr. Mulholland still holds (undoubtedly never to be broken) the record for the shortest speech ever given, when at the opening of the Ownes Valley aqueduct he ended up saying “There it is. Take it.”

    I like a man of epic deeds and few words.

    March 20, 2011 at 5:06 PM

  4. Stanley-

    Your link leads to just a Google search page, I won’t be hiring you as my photo assistant.

    March 24, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    • Stanley

      Really? Because when I tried clicking on it just now it went right to the image I had in mind on “Shutter Stock” – so I don’t know why you aren’t getting the same image I am? Damn “Tangled Worldwide Deceptive Web!” ;-D>

      March 28, 2011 at 8:17 AM

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