Portland’s public water fountains are a popular part of its history

Written by on August 27, 2023

Portland’s drinking fountains are known as Benson Bubblers. Water fountains aren’t typically a city landmark, but the Benson Bubblers of Portland – part public art and part public service – are some of Portland’s rarest and most historic attractions. In 1912, local businessman Simon Benson donated $10,000 to the city to begin installing four-bowled bronze drinking fountains in downtown Portland, reportedly in an effort to redirect loggers heading to bars for a drink during lunch. Currently, 52 four-font fountains are in place, all doubling as useful landmarks in the heart of the city. In an effort to keep them unique, the Benson family has prevented new bubblers from being built anywhere but downtown Portland.

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