fountain
The Ramsey Hill Association is helping pay to restore the fountain and “Indian Hunter and His Dog” sculpture in Cochran Park.

The Saint Paul City Council accepted a $36,314 gift from the Ramsey Hill Association on June 22 for the restoration of the “Indian Hunter and His Dog” sculpture and fountain at Cochran Park on Summit and Western avenues.

The donation exceeds a needed match for a Minnesota Historical Society Legacy Grant and brings the restoration budget to $172,481. The city will use $11,324 of the funds to complete an evaluation of the fountain’s tile and basin this summer. 

Alice Messer, design and construction manager for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said the fountain’s ceramic tiles are failing. “We need to find out what’s causing it,” she said.

The project includes the restoration of the iron railing around the fountain and sculpture, as well as the park’s plumbing and electrical systems. Work on the fountain and railing is not expected to be done until next year.

The Ramsey Hill Association (RHA) raised the money to restore the fountain and sculpture through donations and a Cocktails for Cochran event last fall. The association has worked with the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy on fundraising for the project.

“Indian Hunter and His Dog” was created by noted Saint Paul sculptor Paul Manship and installed at Cochran in 1926. Four bronze geese typically shoot water into the air around the fountain’s centerpiece.

The donation was recommended for approval earlier in June by the city’s Capital Improvement Budget Committee. Its members urged city staff to improve security for the fountain and sculpture.

 

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“Indian Hunter and His Dog” was created by noted Saint Paul sculptor Paul Manship and installed at Cochran in 1926. Four bronze geese typically shoot water into the air around the fountain’s centerpiece.

Last December, one of the geese was stolen from the park. Within 24 hours, a scrapyard worker alerted city staff that it had purchased the goose. It was returned to parks staff and the other three geese were temporarily removed for safekeeping.

Years ago, city staff moved the original sculpture to Como Park due to vandalism. It was replaced with a fiberglass replica. In 1996, the original sculpture was returned to Cochran and the replica was moved to Como in an effort led by the RHA.

The sculpture was commissioned nearly a century ago by Thomas Cochran Jr. in memory of his father. The Cochran family had donated the land to the city for perpetual use as a park.

— Jane McClure

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