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More on the Rebecca Fountain on York’s Penn Common

Rebecca fountain, facing College Avenue. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which still stands, is in the background, as is the former Hannah Penn Junior High (now St, Patrick's parking lot).

In my recent post on the 1898 dedication of the impressive fountain, I mentioned that it was featured on quite a few post cards that I found at the York County Heritage Trust Library/Archives. I’m including three in this post, with more to follow.

This view is from the east side, so the houses in the background would be on Pershing Avenue, formerly Water Street.

Speaking of Penn Park, I had several questions about the alligator that once resided there. The only mention in print that I have found so far was in the York Daily at the time of the fountain dedication. It said: “An alligator, thirteen feet long, will be one of the additions.” It sounded to me like it would be in the open basin of the fountain, which was only four feet deep. That didn’t sound like a good idea for the public or for the alligator.

Friends who went to York High in the 1930s remembered an alligator in Penn Park, but it was in a separate, fenced-in pool. I don’t know if it was the same alligator from 1898 or a succession of alligators. Their life span is said to be up to 50 years.

My friends also remember a police post in Penn Park in the 1930s. I’m sure that contributed to a fairly low crime rate in the area at the time (or maybe it was the alligator).

Penn Park from the northwest with the fountain behind the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. This shows the location of the bandstand and the electric fountain, which was installed a little later. Note the four cannons surrounding the Civil War monument.