Never Deny A Thirsty Man His Drink
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.