The History of the Watering Trough
By Ellen Bennett
Our watering trough dates back to about 1897 as it was put there very shortly after town water was installed in 1896. Arthur Jones recalls keeping it filled and teamsters coming by regularly watered their horses there. Those who rode or drove with “Grandma” Dickson will remember stopping there to give the horses a drink whenever she went through town. At that time the trough was a coppery black color. It had a pipe up the middle and a grate at the bottom to drain away overflow. It was set on a small circle of cobblestones, which were level with the road surface. At one time, there was a twin trough at Kendall Green on the island at the intersection of Church St. and North Ave. Sometime during World War II, it was moved to the side of the road to make room for traffic and subsequently disappeared – some say for scrap metal, others say it is buried in the dump. With the decline of thirsty horses, the trough fell into disuse. About 1946, the thought was to use it as a fountain. This was tried for a couple of years but, as the overflow went down the drain and the water was metered, it proved too expensive to continue. In 1948, the Weston Garden Club started planting flowers in it and presumably painted it white at some point. In 1975, the now rusty trough was taken to the highway garage and sandblasted and repainted. It was reset on the stones as it is now. These stones were unearthed when the new water mains were laid along the Boston Post Road. Ken Oates rescued them and put the away for some future use. When the watering trough was reset, he brought them out and had the present island made of them with curbing cut especially to fit. Again our old watering trough is in poor shape and a Weston Garden Club project is underway to sandblast and fiberglass the inside and paint the outside so the town can continue to enjoy it for many more years.