Iron Mike installed at new location

By Earleen Hinton

TBy Earleen Hinton

Thirsty Oregonites are another step closer to being able to whet their whistle at the city’s historic, and recently restored, water fountain.

Mike Bowers, project manager for the relocation project directed and watched early Tuesday morning as Dale Beesing and Ed Rowland, of Beesing Welding, Oregon, unloaded the 800-pound, cast iron Iron Mike from the back of a Beesing truck and placed it on its new digs on the northeast corner of the Ogle County Courthouse Square in downtown Oregon.

Bowers, the former Superintendent of Streets for the City of Oregon, helped line the fountain up in the center of a new plaza that features antique Purington pavers that were salvaged from the once-brick street by Conover Square.

City and county officials decided to move the 1901 free-flowing fountain after a wayward car almost hit it a few years ago.

It’s new location is a few yards south of its former location (at the intersection of Illinois 64 and Illinois 2) to the northeast corner of the Courthouse Square. It will be officially re-dedicated on Thursday, June 24 at 5 p.m.

The fountain was cleaned, sandblasted and repainted by the E.D. Etnyre Co., at its Oregon facility and then stored at the street department over the winter as COVID-19 delayed the project.

Iron Mike has three drinking levels, one for dogs, one for horses and one for people and was endorsed by the Illinois Humane Society when it was forged.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 9 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.