Star-Shaped Petrified Wood Fountain on Courthouse Square

The top of this star-shaped fountain is covered with angular pieces of petrified wood, but it wasn’t always that way. When Somervell County citizens erected the drinking fountain in 1936 as part of their celebration for the centennial of Texas independence, the top was smooth concrete. Petrified wood and other decorative rocks decorated only the sides. The fountain replaced a much older concrete trough that for years had watered horses and mules. It drew its flow from an artesian well that the county had sunk in the courthouse yard years before. Local teenagers in the 1930s found the new public water fountain an appealing place to lounge. They lay along its sides while splashing the sulfurous water on each other, making a general spectacle of themselves. Adults eventually tired of the public displays and set the rough pieces of petrified wood into the upper edges of the fountain to make it less appealing as a teenagers’ gathering place. Just like people in the past, you may want to sample the mineral-laden Glen Rose water just to see how it tastes.