Fountain Square Park

Foun­tain Square Park is an oasis in down­town Som­er­set and a hub of local cul­ture and com­mu­ni­ty vibran­cy. The cen­ter­piece is a foun­tain cap­ti­vat­ing vis­i­tors day and night. Sur­round­ed by quaint shops and eater­ies, Foun­tain Square Park encap­su­lates the heart of Som­er­set, offer­ing a warm wel­come and a dose of small-town charm in the heart of down­town.

This icon­ic square dates back to the ear­ly 19th cen­tu­ry, when it was the bustling cen­ter of com­merce, serv­ing as a gath­er­ing point for locals and trav­el­ers alike. Town plan­ners of 1801 saw a need for a dis­tinct town cen­ter, an open area for ral­lies, parades, and oth­er events. Its ear­ly uses includ­ed a stray live­stock pen, a com­mu­ni­ty well, and the county’s first log cour­t­house. Hotels, that lat­er lined the north and east sides of the square served as head­quar­ters for var­i­ous com­man­ders from each side dur­ing the Civ­il War. An 1871 fire destroyed the west side, includ­ing two banks and the third coun­ty cour­t­house.

In 1908, local busi­ness­man R.H. Bartells designed and financed con­struc­tion of the first foun­tain. For a while the pool held gold­fish, which was a prime attrac­tion for chil­dren who came to town. A 1963 project of John Sher­man and Lor­raine Coop­er ren­o­vat­ed the aging con­crete foun­tain.

For both res­i­dents and vis­i­tors, Foun­tain Square is more than just a place; it’s a tes­ta­ment to the endur­ing spir­it of Som­er­set, a reminder of the impor­tance of com­mu­ni­ty, and a reflec­tion of its rich his­to­ry.

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