While many of the monuments and memorials around D.C. exist for obvious reasons, there are many that puzzle those who stop long enough to look at them. Case in point would be this monument to Temperance located at the corner of Indiana Avenue and 7th Streets NW. This seemingly odd sculpture sits in the same area as that of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Known as the Cogswell Temperance Fountain, it was sculpted by San Francisco dentist Henry B. Cogswell who desired two things. First, that Americans would stop drinking alcohol and start drinking water. And second, that he be remembered forever. Cogswell made his fortune in California in real estate and mining, but it is his eccentricity that is manifest in this fountain, as well as others he sculpted and set in 16 cities across America. Of the 16, this is the only one to survive.
Originally, the Temperance Fountain was a drinking fountain. Today, the fountain does not flow with water. And it's probably just as well. The District of Columbia is notorious for bad water, including high lead content, among other concerns.
Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, (09/07.)