Jun. 28—Although two popular fountains in Lewiston are missing, residents don't need to panic — they will return.
Parks and Recreation Director Tim Barker said the statue of the dancing children at Brackenbury Square in downtown Lewiston and the Sacajawea Fountain at Pioneer Park on Normal Hill were removed in February or March for maintenance by Beautiful Downtown Lewiston. Barker said he heard concerns from residents that the statues were stolen, but that's not the case.
The statues were taken to a foundry in Joseph, Ore., but getting the statues back is taking longer than expected because of the backlog of projects from the COVID-19 pandemic. "There's not a lot of places that do that type of work so they're kinda the go-to for those types of projects," Barker said.
"It's been a long time since they've been created," Barker said. "(The statues) haven't gone through this (maintenance) process before."
There is no set timeline on when the statues will be reinstalled. "Hopefully we get them back soon so we can turn those facilities back on," Barker said, referring to the water features that the statues are a part of.
Even though the statues have been removed for a few months, Barker said he's been hearing more calls asking about the statues because of the hotter temperatures and people are wanting to cool off. The fountain at Pioneer Park is usually turned on when school gets out but with the long spring bringing in cooler and wetter weather conditions, it delayed the calls for the water features to be turned on.
The statue of Sacajawea and the coyotes in Pioneer Park wasn't originally intended to be an interactive fountain, but soon people began using it in the summer heat. The fountain was originally placed in 1911 by the Tcseminicum Club, but was shut off in 1960 because of plumbing problems and the coyotes were removed because of deterioration. Then in 1990, a replica of the original fountain was installed with new bronze coyotes sculpted by Sharon Taylor-Hall. In 2009, the fountain was remodeled, keeping Sacajawea and the four coyotes, but including water jets and interpretive signs.
In Brackenbury Square, "The Dance" was sculpted by David Sears and installed in 1994. He said in an article in the Lewiston Tribune that the statue reminds people to play. The boy and girl on the outside of the semi-circle are holding out their arms, inviting others to join them, which many have done over the years.
Brewster may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (208) 848-2297.