Letters to the Editor

Houlton’s Boy With The Leaking Boot

To the editor:
In 1914, Mrs. Clara P. Frisbie left the sum of $1,000 to the town of Houlton and specified that the sum be used to beautify the park. In the summer of 1916, a drinking fountain containing a statue of a boy holding a leaking boot was installed in the park, purchased from the Frisbie fund.
The statue was purchased from the J. L. Mott Iron Works in New York State, but the figure was cast by J. W. Fiske Architectural Metals, Inc., of Paterson, New Jersey. The statue, long in the Fiske catalog, was called “The Unfortunate Boot.” Fiske no longer has the mold and has no record of the original sculptor.
As of 1975, there have been 26 similar known statues in the United States and abroad. Some have been partially destroyed, some are in storage, and others can be seen in Fresno, California; Sandusky, Ohio; Menominee, Michigan; Wallingford, Vermont; El Dorado, Kansas; Baker, Oregon; El Paso, Texas; Hershey, Pennsylvania; and in Ellenville, New York (2 statues). Foreign statues are in Stockholm, Sweden; Cleethorpes, England; Winnipeg, Toronto and London, Ontario; and the latest to surface, in Caracas, Venezuela.
Houlton and Fresno have the only two statues set in drinking fountains, and Houlton’s fountain is the only one to provide water for both man and beast. Look at your tile and you will see, at street level, the troughs which provide refreshment for small animals.

Joe Skehan

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