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Wearing face masks to avoid spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, community leaders, including The Dalles Mayor Rich Mays (holding scissors) and The Dalles Beautification Committee Chair Tiffany Prince (holding plaque), gather Thursday, July 9 to celebrate the installation of new paving stones and full repair of the historic Vogt Fountain at Sorosis Park, accomplished in collaboration with The Dalles Lions Club (wearing tie-dyed red). 

The historic Vogt Fountain in the Veteran's Memorial Rose Garden at Sorosis park is running again, with brass lions-head fountains and paving stone walkways.

The fountain was donated to the city in 1913. It was originally located at Third and Washington downtown The Dalles, according to a 1939 presentation by Fred W. Wilson shared by Fort Dalles Museum Director Cal McDermid. 

For a time, the new fountain languished in storage, until community members presented the city council with a petition demanding the fountain be immediately installed.

It was, on June 17, 1913. 

The fountain remained in place until 1929, when it was taken apart and moved into storage with the intention of its being relocated to Sorosis Park.

The installation took even longer, the fountain being placed in Sorosis in 1955.

Age and vandalism left the fountain non-functional for many years.

The effort to repair the fountain, including replacement of the brass lion-head fountains, water pump and water lines and lighting, as well as replacement of gravel paths surrounding the fountain, began in 2019.

The completion of the bulk of that work was celebrated with a ribbon cutting July 9, 2020.

Some fencing, pavers and stone work remains to be put in place, and fundraising continues for a security system to ward off vandalism.

Jim Wilcox of the The Dalles Lions Club said the partnership between the Lions Club and the Beautification Committee was important because the city committee was unable to raise funds for the project, something the Lions Club was set up to do.

The project fit nicely with Club goals as well. In 1962, The Dalles Lions Club Auxiliary was formed, and with the Lions club built the picnic shelter at Sorosis. Later, the club repaired the restrooms at the park, which had become nonfunctional.

The community was generous, Wilcox said, with local citizens donating over $5,000 to the project. The Lions Club Foundation donated money as well, and Home Depot provided the paving stones at cost. A major donor was  the Union Pacific Railroad Foundation, which provided a $15,000 community grant.

The Dalles Mayor Rich Mays said, "There is a lot of cooperation going into this project, which is very indicative of The Dalles."

He also praised the Beautification Committee, which was the most active committee he had ever worked with, he said. 

Committee members are Tiffany Prince, Max Butensky, Bill Lennox, Brenda Coats, Connie Krummrich, John Nelson, and Judy Merrill.

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