Happy Thursday everyone! After my 9 AM class ended on Tuesday, I decided to steal a morning for myself and take a walk around Old Towne. Sometimes it’s nice to take time for yourself, even if it’s only for an hour. Luckily, Old Towne has so much to see, enjoy, and learn without even leaving the Historic District (and all while getting in your daily 10,000 steps? Hopefully!).
My walk started on Glassell Street, heading towards the circle from Chapman University. I stopped to admire the decor and art at The Dragonfly Shops and Gardens. Funny enough, Dragonfly was one of my first stops I made in Old Towne when I toured Chapman my senior year of high school, almost 2 years ago.
Next, I passed through the circle and stopped to capture the bright blue skies. I remembered the orange skies that loomed over us just a few short weeks ago, in the face of Canyon Fire 2, and was feeling fortunate for a warm and clear day. I made my way to the 1888 Center, where I saw more adorable fall decor and grabbed an iced coffee to kickstart my morning.
Now, through this entire walk, I did have a goal in mind. Recently, there were some comments left on our Instagram (thank you for commenting!) about the fountain that originally stood in the center of the plaza. Locals raved about its beauty and historical significance, and I needed to see it with my own eyes. Located in the back of the Orange Public Library stands the fountain that was housed in the plaza from 1887-1937. After 50 years of living in the plaza, it moved to Hart Park – and then eventually to storage – and was replaced by the fountain we see today in the center of the plaza. From 1981-2002, the original fountain was brought out of storage and found a new home at the City Council Chambers. After all these years, however, the fountain became rusted and corroded. Due to its dangerous condition, it was disassembled and moved back into storage.
The Old Towne residents missed the original fountain and the historical nostalgia it brought them. With the help of the Old Towne Preservation Association, Bob Hitchcock, the 585 Club, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and Mike Vogelvang, the original fountain has been completely restored and preserved for all to enjoy. The fountain can now be admired behind the Orange Public Library on Chapman Avenue. It is definitely worth your time to visit the library, see a huge piece of our town’s history and earn a few steps on the pedometer. Happy strolling!