Community members gathered to celebrate water running once again over the top of Pioneer Memorial Park’s fountain.
More than 50 people attended the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s ribbon-cutting on May 16 with members of the Sequim Prairie Garden Club, City of Sequim staff and other community members next to the historic waterfall that faces East Washington Street.
The fountain was built in the fall of 1965 as a community project, said Priscilla Hudson, Sequim Prairie Garden Club member/historian, and its first major donor was Henry Lotzgesell, who donated about $600 in honor of the passing of his wife Hazel. The initial waterfall was about 5 feet high and 15 feet wide, and now the restored version is slightly smaller and features one waterfall.
“It’s not like it was, but I’m delighted to see water going over the top rock,” said Ronnie Rice, granddaughter of Henry and Hazel Lotzgesell. “It’s very beautiful.”
She and several members of the Lotzgesell family helped maintain the fountain and added decor over the years even as maintenance issues forced the fountain’s closure in the early 1990s.
Rice and two of her sisters, Laurel Gloor and Sidne Cameron were in attendance along with Gloria Lotzgesell Newton, Henry and Hazel’s daughter, and Holly Hatton, their great-granddaughter. In 2006, Gloria Lotzgesell funded a commemorative bench near the waterfall for her parents.
Garden club members began in 2014 opening up views into the park clearing out overgrowth and replacing it with various trees and shrubs. Later, City of Sequim staff consulted with the Lotzgesell family and garden club about what the new waterfall would look like.
The waterfall and its pond were revived late last year.
At the May 16 ceremony, David Garlington, Sequim Public Works director, Ty Brown, Sequim operations manager, Sequim Mayor Dennis Smith, and Hudson all briefly spoke before the crowd about the history of the project prior to conversation, live music, historic photos and refreshments in the Garden Club’s clubhouse.
Going forward, city staff will perform maintenance on the waterfall going forward, garden club volunteers said.