ATHENS AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Thanks to the generous support the Society received from the Battle Creek and Athens Community Foundations, Athens Township, the Village of Athens, and many donors and volunteers the building of the beautiful courtyard has been completed. Building the courtyard was done as part of ongoing efforts to enhance and highlight the cultural and historic aspects of the Athens community.
The courtyard is located in the empty lot to the south of our building. The courtyard features several the historic community artifacts including the restored water drinking fountain, an original Athens street lamp (once powered by the local water mill) along with a hitching post from the 1870s. The fountain is the centerpiece and once again is the source of fond memories for many generations of Athenians. The courtyard is beautifully landscaped. It includes two (2) brick raised flow beds topped by bricks manufactured in Athens in the early years. The engraved pavers form a beautiful canvas for the landscaping and the artifacts in the courtyard. . The courtyard is secured by two (2) locally decorative iron gates built by a local volunteer craftsman, (Steve Brunner) who donated all his labor and materials to build and install two gates. .
The Fountain: The main feature in the courtyard is the restored old water fountain that originally sat for many yeas on the corner of the pharmacy across the street from our building.. It is again a working fountain decorated with arrows and spear heads obtained locally from area citizens. The fountain includes the original steel door, with its beautiful Indian brass head.The door was lost for almost 30 years and it was recently located by an Athenian and donated for installation on the fountain.. Restoration of the fountain was completed at a cost of over $3,000 paid by a generous couple who are members of the Society. The courtyard serves as a shining example of what residents of this little town can do when we pull together.
The Stone Arch -The beautiful stone arch has a long history. It was one of the side arches in the local Athens High School built in 1910. When the school was demolished it then was moved to the bar lounge in the former Stone Inn Restaurant located in Athens where it remained for over 30 years. Finally after going through several owners, the building for the restaurant was destroyed and the Arch became the property of the Society and it was installed in the courtyard. It is indeed a beautiful sight and a good remembrance for Athenians of the former high school..
Following are some pictures of the courtyard, fountain and engraved pavers.