About the Blacksmith

Statues often signify an important historical moment or person. Each statue is sculpted in a unique way to represent something or someone special and some statues may have rituals associated with them. In Guelph, there are eight different statues that are located around the city. The Blacksmith Fountain is located in Priory Square.

The Blacksmith Fountain was constructed in 1884 and donated by J.B. Armstrong, who was a prominent local businessman, former alderman and owner of the Guelph Carriage Goods Company. The fountain was originally produced by J.L. Mott Iron Works. It has occupied three places over its lifetime in Guelph; first, it stood in St. George’s Square until 1922 and was then moved to Priory Square to facilitate the passage of streetcars. It currently overlooks the site where the founder of Guelph, John Galt, is said to have felled the first tree.

One of the questions that aroused curiosity in students is the why the fountain is called the Blacksmith Fountain. It is called the Blacksmith Fountain because it is a symbol of local industry, and a blacksmith is someone who makes and repairs iron by hand. It is has been made of metal alloy to stay within the theme of local industry. Another question that students had was about the objects on the pedestal. The fountain’s water issues from the mouths of eight rams’ heads that decorate the basin’s rims. The shape and size of the Blacksmith Fountain have been made to represent a blacksmith and the early town industry.

However, the other questions that students had (why they made it a fountain and why it is placed so high) do not have answers to them. In my personal opinion, I think that it was made a fountain because fountains require maintenance from time to time, and maintaining the fountain related to the work of a blacksmith. The reason why it is placed so high might be due to the fact that it is sitting on a fountain and they want the water to flow from a specific height.

Sara Issa

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