You Know Sanborn Park Is A Startling 100 Years Old? Me Either.
Amarillo is full of rabbit holes. Not the kind that rabbits live in. The kind where you start looking for an answer to a question, and you wind up with over a century's worth of info and stories.
For instance, did you know that Sanborn Park has over 100 years worth of history?
The Fountain At Sanborn Park
I've seen the fountain on several occasions. Right there in the middle of Sanborn Park is this fountain with "decorative" tile work.
Part of the tiles tell a story. Supposedly it's the story of Amarillo coming into being. However, looking at the pictures chiseled into the stone it seems that they tell more of a story encompassing the entire panhandle rather than just Yellow City.
If you thought this is where it ends with the fountain of Sanborn Park, you'd be mistaken. There's a lot of history in that installment.
It All Starts In 1916
Sanborn Park was established over 100 years ago in 1916. At that time, there was a fountain installed. Apparently, it was pretty popular.
In 1929, a piece ran in the Amarillo Globe-Times regarding the park. Letting your kids swim in the fountain was apparently the thing to do. In the newspaper piece, the City Forester complained about people using the fountain as a "public swimming pool."
Turns out, parents were letting their kids swim in the fountain, and when asked to stop they threatened to go to the mayor and city manager.
The parents claimed it was to defend their "rights." Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Removals And Replicas And Repairs; Oh My!
According to a news story from 2017, the actual fountain was removed and replaced with a fiberglass replica in the '90s. The reason was decay and vandalism to the structure.
It's interesting just how much is hidden in plain sight.