Help Save the Salem Public Library Fountain!
The historic 1850’s Poseidon fountain in the Salem Public Library’s side yard is in danger. For several years it has not been operational and long periods of deferred maintenance have led to a dire situation.
About the fountain
Cast by the Robert Wood Foundry of Philadelphia between 1850 and 1857, Salem sea captain John Bertram purchased the fountain and located it next to his home at the corner of Essex and Monroe Streets. It was one of the few Victorian fountains to survive the scrap drives of World War II.
After his death in the 1882, Captain Bertram’s family donated the estate to the city and the mansion became the Salem Public Library.
Preservation is Needed!
A 1987 Salem News article, ‘Mayday for Neptune,’ details the beginning of a preservation effort, very similar to the one we have started in 2019. Unfortunately, the 1987 effort did not gain any steam.
From a recent evaluation of the fountain done in December 2018 by Gregory Curci Sculpture, Winthrop, MA:
The time to get going to save this historic Essex St. landmark is now. A combination of City, State and private funds are being solicited for a complete restoration.
Interested donors should make out checks to The Trustees of the Salem Public Library, with the words “fountain restoration” in the memo line. Mail checks to Tara Mansfield, Director, Salem Public Library, 370 Essex Street, Salem MA 01970 or drop them off at the circulation desk on the main floor of the library. The Trustees of the Salem Public Library are a 501c3 tax-exempt organization.
Thank you for your support!
Friends of the Salem Public Library Fountain Facebook Page Mission Statement
The Friends of the Salem Public Library Fountain are fund-raising to assist in covering costs for the restoration and ongoing preservation of the endangered 1850’s cast iron Poseidon fountain on the grounds of the Salem Massachusetts Public Library. Friends of the Salem Public Library are working on behalf of the Trustees of Salem Public Library, a 501c3 entity.