The Trotter Fountain sculpture at Withers Park was first dedicated in 1911. (Photos courtesy Georgie Borchardt/Trotter Fountain Project)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - History buffs will join family descendants in unraveling a mystery to many in Bloomington today.
A 12-foot tall Georgia marble American Indian sculpture in Withers Park downtown is known as Trotter Fountain. Mel Theobald, a Bloomington native, who's an artist and photographer, said the brother of three-term Mayor James Trotter willed it to the city in 1911.
"Georgina, John and James Trotter were brothers and sisters who were very active in the community. So from a historical perspective, the sculpture has incredible importance for Bloomington," Theobald said.
The fountain was designed by the world famous Lorado Taft, which Theobald lends to the curiosity of the artwork.
Family descendants and other supporters will unveil a plaque telling the story of the sculpture in a festival at Withers Park which will run from at 12:30 to 3:30 p.m today.
Theobald said the more than century-old sculpture is one of the most significant historical landmarks in the city.
"The sculpture has a tremendous depth in terms of Bloomington history that we would like to inform people about," Theobald said.
The sculpture of American Indian maidens and children was dedicated in 1911, when an estimated 20,000 people filled downtown for the event.
The city is paying to have the sculpture restored.
"We are concerned about the deterioration of the sculpture and the trying to find a process of conservation," Theobald said.