Group gathers support to repair fountain, bandstand


The Kerr Memorial Fountain’s construction was commissioned by Minnie Kerr in 1925 as part of an agreement with Saunders Monument Co.

Charles Kerr was a well-known pharmacist and donor to charity in the Gallipolis area.

GALLIPOLIS — A group of Gallipolis residents made efforts July 2 in front of the Kerr Memorial Fountain in Gallipolis City Park to gather contributions and spread awareness about repairing the monument to make it functional once more.

At the last Gallipolis City Commission meeting June 23, Meagan Barnes, of Gallipolis, addressed the city commission when she was given the privilege of the floor.

“Gallipolis City Park is kind of a fixture to our town,” Barnes said. “We realize that there are two pillars in our community — the fountain and the bandstand — that need a tremendous amount of work. … The city or the foundation that was established to keep the fountain (maintained) don’t have the money or the capability to make the fountain repairs.”

She noted a group of citizens have come together in support of the memorial repair cause. They intend to raise money through a “grassroots effort” to give money to the city in hopes of repairing the fountain and bandstand. Barnes told listeners that Mary-Lee Marchi, Gallia County Historical Society director, received much support from local citizens on social media sites asking where donations could be made to the memorials’ cause.

Ohio Valley Bank will establish an account for donations, which will be tax deductible. After meeting with Gene Green, Gallipolis city manager, Barnes and her colleagues decided the target number need for the proposed maintenance project would be around $75,000.

The Kerr Memorial Fountain’s restoration kickoff was conducted at 6 p.m. July 2. The project has its own website dedicated to the restoration at www.gofundme.com/yb9834m.

Mrs. Minnie Kerr, wife of local pharmacist Charles Kerr, entered into a contract with Saunders Monument Co. on Aug. 22, 1925. The contract states the marble of the monument “shall be of the best grade of select stock Georgia marble.”

Barnes said people she has spoken with say the fountain stopped working about 15 years ago because of a malfunction.

According to information gathered from the Gallia County Historical Society, Charles Kerr was a member of the local Masonic lodge. At one point, the Kerr family offered money to Gallia Academy, if the school would change its name to Kerr. The money was turned down and, as a result, “the money was spent on the fountain and other benefactions to the citizens of the community.”

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.

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