Fountain In The Park

The Forget-Me-Not Band of Mercy was an organization of young ladies that formed about the time World War I began. They were a humane, patriotic group of young ladies who wanted to do something for the community that would be long lasting and beneficial. In those days, the town roads were dirty and dusty with most of the traffic being wagons and carts pulled by mules and horses. There was also an abundant dog population in those days, and the young ladies decided upon a fountain that would serve the human population as well as horses, mules and dogs.

The Club raised funds by holding an elaborate carnival, through candy sales, and various other money-making activities, and soon accumulated the money necessary for the fountain. The fountain was constructed in 1914, and by May of 1915 the Town Board had decided to install the fountain in the Park across from Mason’s Store on Railroad Avenue, where it has remained to this day. The fountain was dedicated on Saturday night, 15 May, 1915, with an elaborate program to honor those who helped bring about the success of the fountain. The celebration included music, speeches, recitations, pantomime and many other festive activities similar to today’s Strawberry Festival activities.

The fountain was refurbished and repaired in 1927, apparently after three years of inoperation, but sometime later fell once more into disrepair. In 2000, the Commissioners of Ridgely decided to repair and refurbish the fountain and to put it into operation once again. It was rededicated at the 2002 Strawberry Festival as part of Ridgely’s heritage and to honor its residents. The original plaque on the fountain reads: