112-year-old Monroe fountains to be restored

The Associated Press

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Union County is restoring a pair of ornate, cast-iron water fountains initially installed 112 years ago as a sanitary source of drinking water.

The Charlotte Observer reports Monday (http://bit.ly/12A3Ot1 ) the county is spending $19,500 to rescue the fountains that replaced hand-dug artesian wells in downtown Monroe in 1900 amid public health concerns.

The water was piped in from a protected well, representing Union County's first source of sanitary drinking fountain water.

The 5-feet-5-inch fountains weigh 300 pounds each.

They were removed after falling into disrepair and sent to a local landfill in the 1970s. A county employee rescued them from the dump, and they've been neglected in the former county courthouse basement for years.

An Alabama company is recasting missing parts. The fountains should be on display by March.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

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