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Ashland Benefactors Donate Italian Marble Fountain

The Ashland Parks Foundation considers an Italian marble fountain purchased at the 1915 Pan American Exposition in San Francisco the “jewel” of the city’s park system.

The Butler-Perozzi Fountain sits high on its own terrace on the western edge of famed Lithia Park below Ashland’s stately Granite Street, where a house built by Domingo Perozzi still stands.

Perozzi, the owner of an Ashland creamery, joined with fellow Ashland benefactor Gwin S. Butler in offering the fountain as a memorial gift in 1916.  It was sculpted in Florence, Italy, by artist Antonio Frilli.  Born in Switzerland in 1871, Perozzi and his wife, Louise, also donated some 40 acres to the Ashland teachers college where Southern Oregon University is located today. 

Butler and his wife, Alice, were also major Ashland boosters. A plaque hanging on the wall of the Lithia band shell says it was erected in their memory “to perpetuate to this community the service they so freely gave during their lifetime.” Sculptor Jeffrey Bernard re-sculpted and restored the badly deteriorated fountain in 1987.

Restoration continues with the Parks Foundation currently seeking tax-deductible donations for repair of general deterioration and vandalism damage.


Sources: "Lithia Park Amphitheater.- Ashland." Waymarking.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 23 June 2016. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMFTNP_Lithia_Park_Amphitheater_Ashland_OR;  Reynolds, Phyllis. "Lithia Park." The Oregon Encyclopedia. 2016. Web. 24 June 2016. http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/lithia_park/#.V2yspLgrKhf;  Lyall, Roanne. "Gwin S. Butler." Find a Grave. 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 24 June 2016. .

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.