Bracebridge Memorial Fountain

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Municipality/Province: Bracebridge, ON

Memorial Number: 35065-027

Type: Fountain and plaque

Address: Kimberley Avenue and Manitoba Street

Location: Memorial Park

GPS Coordinates: Lat: 45.04281   Long: -79.31406

Contributor: K.C. Veitch

The Town of Bracebridge established a park in June 1900 as a memorial to Fred Wasdell and James Findlay who were killed at the Battle of Paardeberg during the South African War. An iron fountain was erected in the early 1900's, made possible by the fundraising of students at Bracebridge Public School, under the direction of principal, G.H.O. Thomas.

The fountain was installed, but never connected to a water supply. Later a bandstand was built and symbolic cannons were placed. Mr. Thomas used a balance of the concert funds and his own money to put a plaque on the bandshell commemorating Mr. Wasdell and Mr. Findlay.

In 1959 when a Cenotaph was erected, the fountain was moved to Kelvin Grove Park. In June 1969, Council gave Brenda Cox, Thomas' granddaughter, permission to take the deteriorating fountain to her home. She gave the fountain to the newly restored Woodchester Villa in 1980.

With the cooperation of the Historical Society and Town Council, the fountain has been restored to a suitable location in the park close to where it started out 100 years ago. The fountain was officially rededicated on July 1, 2000.

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Inscription found on memorial

MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN

This ornate iron fountain has been returned to Memorial Park as part of the 125th anniversary of the
establishment of Bracebridge as a municipality.

In June 1900, G.H.O. Thomas, principal at Bracebridge Public School, organized an outdoor
children's concert at the school raising $300 to beautify the Park. The drills, marches, songs, and
tableaux delighted the large audience.

The Town established the Park in June 1900 as a memorial to Fred Wasdell and James Findlay who
had been killed at Paardeburg, South Africa in the Boer War. Property was purchased and added to
the market lots, which the Town already owned. The stables and other buildings were removed,
grass was planted and the fountain was installed, but never connected to a water supply. Later a
bandstand was built and symbolic cannons were placed. Mr. Thomas used the balance of the
concert funds and his own money to put a plaque on the bandshell commemorating Mr. Wasdell and Mr. Findlay.

In 1959 when a cenotaph was erected, the fountain was moved to Kelvin Grove Park. In June 1969,
Council gave Brenda Cox, Thomas' granddaughter, permission to take the fountain, which was
deteriorating, to her home. She gave the fountain to the newly restored Woodchester Villa in 1980.
With the cooperation of the Historical Society and Town Council, the fountain has been restored to a
suitable location in the Park close to where it started out 100 years ago.

Contributors: Town of Bracebridge, Ontario Provincial Police Association, Art & Brenda Cox,
John Dawson District of Muskoka, Dura Automotive Systems (Canada) Ltd., Wes Finch & Sons Excavating, Knowles Plumbing,
Bracebridge Horticultural Society, Tomkins & Heels Monuments and Don Currie,
Project Coordinator

Note

This information is provided by contributors and Veterans Affairs Canada makes it available as a service to the public. Veterans Affairs Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the information.

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