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Burnside Fountain, Worcester

3.1
#27 of 30 in Things to do in Worcester
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Burnside Fountain is a non-functioning drinking fountain at the southeast corner of Worcester Common in Worcester, Massachusetts. It consists of two parts, a pink granite basin, and a bronze statue of a young boy riding a sea turtle. The basin was designed by architect Henry Bacon, who later designed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the figure was created by sculptor Charles Y. Harvey. Harvey died by suicide before finishing the sculpture, and Sherry Fry completed the bronze. The Burnside Fountain was commissioned in 1905 by the city of Worcester after Harriet F. Burnside bequeathed US $5,000 to create a fountain to provide fresh water for people, horses and dogs, in the memory of her father, a prominent lawyer. The fountain was installed in 1912 in Central Square, then moved in 1969 to its current location on Worcester Common. In 1970 the statue was stolen, and was re-installed two years later. An attempted theft occurred in 2004.

The bronze is officially named Boy with a Turtle but is known to locals as Turtle Boy. Turtle Boy has become an unofficial mascot for Worcester, much in the same way the Manneken Pis is for Brussels. The Burnside Fountain's popularity is derived mostly from viewers' risqué misinterpretation of the statue. Over its 100-year existence, it has been referenced in stories and songs, as well as having a music contest and a microbrew named after it.
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Burnside Fountain reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
8 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Nice piece of turn of the 20th Century kitsch. Read the Wikipedia entry for both the official story of the sculpture and to find out why college students think it's funny! Not worth a special... 
    Nice piece of turn of the 20th Century kitsch. Read the Wikipedia entry for both the official story of the sculpture and to find out why college students think it's funny! Not worth a special...  more »
Google
  • Birds need fresh clean water every day not stagnant
  • My favorite place to relax on sunday afternoons. #worcester #park

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