Burnside Fountain (Worcester, MA)

Date Visited: March 19, 2016

Location: next to Worcester Common, 455 Main St.

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Just outside of Worcester Common, at 455 Main St, sits an unusual monument.  Also known as “Turtle Boy”, the Burnside Fountain looks like a cross between a Roman sculpture and a high school prank gone wrong.  But, this statue is no prank.  It is a very real monument.  In fact, it is a gift from Harriet Burnside,  a philanthropist and the daughter of a prominent lawyer in Worcester; Samuel Burnside.  In her will, Harriet donated $5,000 to the city to build a fountain in memory of her father.  Harriet Burnside specifically requested the fountain be used as a drinking trough for horses and dogs.

Enter Charles Y. Harvey. Harvey was given the task of designing the fountain.  For some reason that is still unknown, he chose a design called “boy with turtle”.  Henry Bacon, who also worked on the Lincoln Memorial, designed the basin.

In an interesting turn of events, Harvey would take his own life, claiming before doing so that the half finished sculpture was telling him to do so.  Sherry Frye finished the sculpture.  The statue was completed in 1912.

The bronze statue sits on a pink rectangular basin.   The basin has four bowls, two on each side of the statue.

Despite the various interpretations, the statue is not meant to be as controversial.  It was just meant to be a statue about a boy and his turtle.  It was a simpler time.

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About New England Nomad

Hi I'm Wayne. Welcome to my blog. I am a true New Englander through and through. I love everything about New England. I especially love discovering new places in New England and sharing my experiences with everyone. I tend to focus on the more unique and lesser known places and things in New England on my blog. Oh yeah, and I love dogs. I always try to include at least one dog in each of my blog posts. I discovered my love of photography a couple of years ago. I know, I got a late start. Now, I photograph anything that seems out of the ordinary, interesting, beautiful and/or unique. And I have noticed how every person, place or thing I photograph has a story behind it or him or her. I don't just photograph things or people or animals. I try to get their background, history or as much information as possible to give the subject more context and meaning. It's interesting how one simple photograph can evoke so much. I am currently using a Nikon D3200 "beginner's camera." Even though there are better cameras on the market, and I will upgrade some time, I love how it functions (usually) and it has served me well. The great thing about my blog is you don't have to be from New England, or even like New England to like my blog (although I've never met anyone who doesn't). All you have to like is to see and read about new or interesting places and things. Hopefully, you'll join me on my many adventures in New England! View all posts by New England Nomad

10 responses to “Burnside Fountain (Worcester, MA)

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