Refurbished fountain to be celebrated June 27

The fountain has been in place at Onekama Village Park for 70 years and has started to show some signs of age. It was recently refurbished. (Courtesy photo)

ONEKAMA — Locals residents and visitors are invited to a celebration to mark the refurbishment of the historic fountain at Onekama Village Park later this month.

The fountain graced the front lawn of the Manistee Courthouse from 1887 until 1950 when the courthouse was destroyed in a fire. In 1951, the fountain was acquired by the Portage Lake Garden Club, moved to its present location and dedicated to the memory of area veterans.

A ceremony and celebration will be held at 2 p.m. on June 27 at Onekama Village Park.

The fountain, with its rarely seen merman, is one of the few ornate public cast iron Victorian fountains known to survive in Michigan. For the past 70 years, the fountain has set center stage in the village park, and in recent years had started to show some signs of age.

In 2018, the garden club raised more than $15,000 to refurbish and protect this piece of history, which for the past 130 years has been enjoyed by the residents of the two communities.

Project chair, Shirley Brooks will give a short presentation and introduce special guests, including Thomas Gerhardt, the local historian who was instrumental in obtaining the state and national historic register designations for the fountain in 1986 and 1988.

Refreshments will be served as well.

The fountain at Onekama Village Park was recently refurbished; a ceremony to celebrate the hard work put into the effort will be held at 2 p.m. on June 27. (Courtesy photo)

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