The fountain at Pioneer Memorial Park flowed freely from 1965 until sometime around 1990, when numerous mechanical and maintenance issues encouraged the city of Sequim to shut it down and cement it over. (Sequim Prairie Garden Club)

The fountain at Pioneer Memorial Park flowed freely from 1965 until sometime around 1990, when numerous mechanical and maintenance issues encouraged the city of Sequim to shut it down and cement it over. (Sequim Prairie Garden Club)

Fountain at Pioneer Memorial Park reopens Wednesday

SEQUIM — A scenic Sequim spot on the old highway that was shuttered for about two decades has sprung back to life.

The waterfall fountain and pond at Pioneer Memorial Park was constructed in the fall of 1965 and added a feature to the downtown park through the 1990s.

At some point that decade, however, leaks and other malfunctions forced it to shut down and it was filled in with cement, Sequim Prairie Garden Club member/historian Laura Singer said.

The city of Sequim began its rehabilitation in 2017 and revived the waterfall and pond late last year, adding rockery and plantings.

The city and garden club members are hosting a ribbon-cutting celebration for the waterfall at noon Wednesday.

Refreshments will be served in the clubhouse following the ceremony, where visitors can see a display of historic photographs of the construction of the original fountain. The waterfall style fountain was originally completed in 1965.

The waterfall was a community project, Singer explained, when in the mid-1960s community members conceived the idea of placing the piece along U.S. Highway 101, which ran through downtown Sequim before the 101 bypass was constructed in 1999.

The project got its first major donor from Henry Lotzgesell, who donated about $600 in honor of his late wife, Hazel, on Sept. 29, 1965.

For his contribution, Lotzgesell did the honors of the first shovel-full at the project’s groundbreaking Oct. 24 of that year.

“While this fountain is the project of many past and future contributors, Mr. Lotzgesell, his family and friends requested they be permitted to meet the present cost as a memorial to Hazel Lotzgesell so that the entire community might enjoy it now instead of having to wait,” garden club president Mrs. Lester McFarland told the Port Angeles Evening News in an article dated Oct. 27, 1965.

Initially the waterfall was about 5-foot high, 15-foot wide and featured two waterfalls; the restored version is a bit smaller and features one waterfall, Singer said.

Designed by landscape artist Lesly W. Howard, son of garden club member Laura Dubuque, the waterfall project saw garden club members and others from the Sequim community perform much of the labor to get it up and running. According to annual Sequim Prairie Garden Club notes from 1966, club members laid electric and water lines, hauled rock and dirt and cooked meal for other crew members.

Howard, who donated time, labor and equipment for the effort, had his landscaping crew complete the work by November of 1965.

Several members of the Lotzgesell family have helped maintain the fountain and added decor over the years, Singer said, but consistent maintenance issues forced its closure in the early 1990s.

In 2006, Gloria Lotzgesell funded a commemorative bench near the defunct waterfall for Henry and Hazel Lotzgesell, her grandparents.

In 2014, a garden club project began in effort to open up the views of the park’s lands adjacent to East Washington Street, giving passers-by a better view of the grounds. Club members cleared out years of overgrowth, replacing it with various trees and shrubs.

David Garlington and Ty Brown from Sequim’s Public Works department helped spearhead its revival, Singer said. City staff removed the cement and repaired water pipes, and removed more overgrown landscaping.

On Nov. 16 of last year, the city celebrated Sequim’s designation as “Tree City USA” (Arbor Day Foundation) by planting trees and shrubs around the restored waterfall.

For more information, contact the Sequim Public Works Department at 360-683-4908.

________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

More in News

Quilcene schools, Clallam Bay fire district measures passing

Voters in Jefferson and Clallam counties appear to have passed measures for… Continue reading

Tribe seeking funds for hotel

Plans still in works for downtown Port Angeles

Clallam County eyes second set of lodging tax applications

Increase more than doubles support from 2023

Olympic Medical Center reports operating losses

Hospital audit shows $28 million shortfall

Jefferson County joins opioid settlement

Deal with Johnson & Johnson to bring more than $200,000

Ballots due today for elections in Clallam, Jefferson counties

It’s Election Day for voters in Quilcene and Clallam… Continue reading

Jefferson PUD has clean audit for 2022

Jefferson County Public Utility District #1 has received a… Continue reading

Jefferson Transit opens survey on climate action plan

Jefferson Transit Authority will conduct a survey through June… Continue reading

Three volunteers sought for Clallam County Disability Board

The Clallam County Disability Board is seeking volunteers to… Continue reading

Pictured, from left, are Mary Kelso, Jane Marks, Barbara Silva and Linda Cooper.
School donation

The Port Angeles Garden Club donated $800 to the Crescent School in… Continue reading

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles, sit at the bow of a U.S. Coast Guard response boat on display during Saturday’s Healthy Kids Day at the Port Angeles YMCA. The event, hosted by all three Olympic Peninsula YMCA branches, featured children’s activities designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and a love for physical activity. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Captain on deck

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles,… Continue reading

Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioners agreed on April 2 to seek a real estate market analysis for Lost Mountain Station 36 after multiple attempts to seek volunteers to keep the station open. They’ll consider selling it and using funds for emergency supplies in the area, and offsetting construction costs for a new Carlsborg fire station. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Fire District to seek market analysis for station

Proceeds could help build new building in Carlsborg