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Harris Fountain finds new home in downtown Rochester

The wandering Harris Fountain is set to find a new home in downtown Rochester later this summer, perhaps by the end of July, when the city moves the historic structure to its municipal complex.

The locally famous drinking fountain has been moved five times since Rochester-native Samuel Harris gave it to the then village in 1917. Harris served as a cavalry lieutenant under Gen. George Custer during the Civil War. He eventually went onto become a successful businessman in Chicago before coming back to Rochester to give the fountain to the town.

It has since been set up at 4th and Walnut streets and in front of the old American Legion Hall at University Road and Walnut. It is now on the east end of the Mt. Avon Cemetery. The city plans to move it to downtown where it can be appreciated by more people.

"We wanted it in a place where it was more recognizable and more in tune with what is around it," says Jim Kemler, Chairman of the Rochester Historical Commission. "The World War II memorial is there, too."

The city expects it will take a day to physically move the fountain and a couple of weeks to get the water for it to work again.

Source: Ed Alward, building inspector for Rochester; Jim Kemler, Chairman of the Rochester Historical Commission and June Hopaluk, member of the Rochester Historical Commission.
Writer: Jon Zemke

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