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1-540-373-2500 Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Virginia

1907 Horse Trough Restored

by Channing M. Hall

The bronze 1907 Horse Trough and Drinking Fountain, on Jamestown Island, designed by a famous architect, was installed by the GSCW in 1907 for the “Jamestown Exhibition,” to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Jamestown Settlement. The only way to get there then was by horse and buggy, and those horses and their passengers were thirsty.

For the 2007 celebration of the 400th anniversary, the Trough, which was a bit down and out, was moved to a better location on the Island (near the Yardley House) and restored, at the urging of Gov. Gen. Russell Scott. The bronze restoration work was done by Andrew Baxter of Bronze et al, Ltd., the leading authority on such things. The Warriors could certainly not have Her Majesty the Queen looking at an unpolished Trough during her 2007 visit, lest we all fall from favor with the Crown.

The Trough was to have been polished thereafter to maintain it (it should be every year, says Baxter), but this did not happen.

Thus, in the time intervening since the Baxter restoration preparatory to 2007, the Trough became re-oxidized, and its appearance mottled and streaked. Former Governor Peter Broadbent noted the degradation and brought it to the attention of the Council.

VASCW engaged Baxter to look at it, make a recommendation and estimate, and, based on the same, strip the Trough using chemical treatments, chemically repatinate it, and then wax it. We got in his work queue in 2022, and he was able to get to it in May 2023, when the weather was warm. Pictured below are Baxter and his assistant as they were at the stage of heating the bronze with blow torches, and then applying the patinated wax (you can see where the darker wax has been applied). Baxter guessed the thing weighs in at about 2,500 + lbs.

New signage has been trough sign


1907 Horse Trough Restored
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