Although it is scarcely noticed by passers-by today, this excellent monument was once very much a part of the south-end scene and presents an interesting chapter in Stamford's history. It was designed as a memorial to the long and beneficent reign of Queen Victoria and provided a constantly running source of water as a drinking fountain for man and beast.
Queen Victoria died in January, 1901, after a reign of over sixty-four years — the longest in British history, recently surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II. Her loyal subjects in Stamford Township and particularly the village of Drummondville decided to commemorate that long reign and their late beloved monarch in a way that would be both lasting and useful. Thus, a memorial drinking fountain was decided upon as an ideal project. Accordingly, most of the year 1901 was spent collecting contributions to finance the construction of the memorial, to which all in the Village and Township donated.
The site chosen for the memorial fountain was the north-west corner of Main Street and Lundy's Lane, on the edge of the Lowell-Butters property, which is now occupied by a convenience store. The monument was unveiled in a fitting ceremony on Saturday, October 19, 1901. A platform had been built around it and the monument itself covered with a large flag. British, Canadian and American soldiers, who had just attended a special ceremony at Drummond Hill cemetery for soldiers killed in the battle of Lundy's Lane, formed a hollow square around the monument. On the platform were Rev. Canon George Bull, President of the Lundy's Lane Historical Society, Harlan Brush, the U.S. Consul at that time, Adam Brown, the president of the Royal Canadian Humane Association, and Miss Veronica Acheson. The three men gave appropriate addresses, after which Miss Acheson pulled a cord which released the flag veiling the memorial. Water also began to flow immediately, to quench the thirst of humans, horses and dogs from the three separate levels in the fountain.
This memorial drinking fountain stood for many years on this plot of historic ground, kept green with grass and bright flowers. With the passage of time, however, horses gave way to automobiles, which so increased in numbers that by 1923 the fountain had become a traffic hazard. Therefore, Stamford Township Council decided to move it to a site in front of the Township Hall, where it stood until 2010 when the fountain was moved from the north-east side of the Stamford Township Hall building to the north-west side of the building during the renovation of the Niagara Falls History Museum. The first moving of the monument took place on November 12, 1923, second in 2010.
Inscribed on the monument are the following words: "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy" and "To commemorate the Beneficent Reign of Queen Victoria." It also bears a marble plaque on which is inscribed: "Erected by loyal citizens, A.D. 1901. Committee: Reeve G. Ellis, Chairman; Councillors E. Fraser, J. Forde, G. Shrimpton and Jas. Wilson. God save the King."
Now dry, the fountain stands as the only memorial in the city erected in memory of Queen Victoria.
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (Norman Jewison, U.S. 1967) 109 mins.
Join Curator Suzanne Moase as she examines collecting in the 21st Century.
HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE (Robert Townsend, US, 1987) 78 mins.
Film Screening: Wilma! ….the story of a Black Canadian