Worcester Common, Franklin Street and Church Street
Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, 01608
The Burnside Fountain is a non-functioning drinking fountain at the southeast corner of Worcester Common in Worcester, Massachusetts.
It consists of two parts, a pink granite basin, and a bronze statue of a young boy riding a sea turtle. The basin was designed by architect Henry Bacon, who later designed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the figure was created by sculptor Charles Y. Harvey. Harvey committed suicide before finishing the sculpture, and Sherry Fry completed the bronze.
The Burnside Fountain was commissioned in 1905 by the city of Worcester after Harriet F. Burnside bequeathed US $5,000 to create a fountain to provide fresh water for people, horses and dogs, in the memory of her father, a prominent lawyer. The fountain was installed in 1912 in Central Square, then moved in 1969 to its current location on Worcester Common.
The bronze is officially named Boy with a Turtle but is known to locals as Turtle Boy. Turtle Boy has become an unofficial mascot for Worcester. Over its 100-year existence, it has been referenced in stories and songs, as well as having a music contest and a microbrew named after it.
The Burnside Fountain is 12 feet (3.7 m) wide, 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, and consists of two parts, the basin and the sculpture. The pink granite basin is rectangular and has four large bowls, two on either end, carved into its top. These bowls were originally designed as water troughs for horses, and a smaller, lower, bowl located on the rear of the fountain was designed for dogs.
The bronze sculpture sits on a circular base in the middle of the basin. The sculpture is officially known as Boy with a Turtle, as its figure is of a young boy, in the nude, riding a sea turtle.
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