“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dunsmuir in Siskiyou County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

The Alexander Dunsmuir Fountain

The Alexander Dunsmuir Fountain Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, May 29, 2010
1. The Alexander Dunsmuir Fountain Marker
Inscription. In 1886. Alexander Dunsmuir, the son of wealthy coal baron Robert Dunsmuir from Vancouver, British Columbia, visited this area while en route to San Francisco. Alexander was charmed by the rugged beauty of the region and made a proposition to the city fathers: if they would change the name of the town to Dunsmuir, he would donate a fountain.

Originally, Dunsmuir was called Pusher because of the need to use helper engines to move trains north due to the heavy 2.2% grade and a 14 degree curve at Cantara Loop between Dunsmuir and Mount Shasta.

The original fountain was built near the railroad depot, however Alexander Dunsmuir never saw it completed. It was dismantled in the 60's by the Southern Pacific Railroad. In the early 70's a new basin was created from the original plans, and the fountain was relocated here at the entrance to the Dunsmuir City Park and Botanical Gardens.
Location. 41° 13.482′ N, 122° 16.631′ W. Marker is in Dunsmuir, California, in Siskiyou County. Marker can be reached from Dunsmuir Avenue north of Siskiyou Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4841Dunsmuir Avenue, Dunsmuir CA 96025, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Locomotive 1727 (about 300
The Alexander Dunsmuir Fountain and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, May 29, 2010
2. The Alexander Dunsmuir Fountain and Marker
The marker is visible here, picture right, at the base of the tree. It's an easy marker to miss.
feet away, measured in a direct line); Babe Ruth Played Here (about 300 feet away); Upper Soda Springs (approx. mile away); Dunsmuir World War Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); Battle Rock (approx. 5.8 miles away); Berryvale Post Office (approx. 6.3 miles away); Strawberry Valley Stage Station (approx. 6.4 miles away); Mt. Shasta Herald (approx. 6.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Dunsmuir.
Also see . . .
1. Who was Alexander Dunsmuir? A man, a town, a promise, a fountain. An examination of the story of Alexander Dunsmuir's offer to provide the town a fountain in exchange for having the town named after him. Contemporary evidence provided would suggest that basic story is mostly true, if not perhaps muddled somewhat. (Submitted on February 25, 2011.) 

2. Dunsmuir's History. The Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce's history of the town, as told by a virtual walking tour in 1927, and illustrated with period postcards, including one of the fountain in its original location at the railroad depot. (Submitted on February 25, 2011.) 

3. Alex: the other Dunsmuir son is little remembered in tributes. An article by T.W. Paterson for the Cowichan Valley Citizen (10/22/10) noting the relative lack of historical recognition for Alexander Dunsmuir, and connecting it to his personal and family difficulties: "... As manager of the San Francisco office, where the bulk and best of Vancouver Island coal was sold, Alexander found himself for the first time his own boss....He began to drink....By the time the family realized that he had a problem it was too late. He would, in fact, die of acute alcohol poisoning at the age of 46." (Submitted on February 25, 2011.) 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 737 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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