Warwick celebrates centennial of Sanford Memorial Fountain

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:12

    WARWICK-Local historian, Professor Richard Hull, mentioned that the installation of the Sanford Memorial Fountain, designed to provide water for horses and wagon drivers back in 1904, took place at the beginning of the automobile age. On Saturday, May 8, Mayor Michael Newhard, members of the Sanford family, members of the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick, Boy Scouts from Troop 45 and other guests gathered at the intersection of Maple and Colonial Avenues. They were there to celebrate the centennial of the original dedication of the fountain, a gift from the Sanford family to the Village of Warwick. "Every week," said Dr. Hull, "tens of thousands of motorists pass through this intersection without noticing this important historical monument. And often people ask me who Sanford was and what exactly is the function of this strange looking monument that resembles an elaborate tomb stone but is not." He then explained that the monument was installed in memory of George Washington Sanford, a distinguished citizen who lived here from 1821 to 1900. Sanford, who owned Maple Terrace Farm, a family homestead to this date, was instrumental in the founding of the First National Bank of Warwick, now a branch of the Bank of New York. He was also involved in the development of the Warwick Valley Railroad. His descendents have followed closely in his footsteps in both farming and business. John W. Sanford & Son Insurance is one of the oldest establishments in this area. Dr. Hull also emphasized that generations of Sanfords have continued to actively participate in service to the community and the preservation of its beauty. In 1904, George Alden Sanford spoke during the dedication of his father's memorial. During the recent centennial ceremony, John W. Sanford, III read that same address. Those present were amazed by his foresight. He called for an attractive Town Hall, a library and a clock among other improvements, which all came to pass.