Catherine G. Leete Fountain
- Jim Wade
- April 1, 2019
- 2 Min Read
The Catherine G. Leete Fountain was donated to the village in June of 1919 by James Edgar Leete as a memorial to his wife.
The fountain was originally placed at the four corners downtown on West St. Clair Street. It is made of marble with a granite base and designed in a Greek motif.
In October 1972, during Harvest Festival, a Pepsi Cola delivery truck had difficulty making the corner and tipped over onto the fountain. One of the marble pillars was broken and the granite roof and base were cracked. In January 1975, the Pepsi Cola Company finally restored the fountain at a cost of $5,440.
In 1992, a fire destroyed the buildings on the southeast corner of the four corners. Several years later, the Almont Downtown Development Authority created a small (“pocket”) park on the site and moved the fountain to be the centerpiece of what is now known as “Fountain Park”.
James Edgar Leete was born on March 10, 1838 in Almont or Bruce Township to Albert Ely Leete and Catherine Palen Leete.
As a young man, James went to work for the Henry Stephens Lumber Company. A young Henry Stephens had come to Almont in the mid-1840’s as a poor man. Stephen’s developed a successful lumbering business. James Leete rose through the management of the company, eventually retiring as its vice-president.
James moved into the village in 1857 and was working for the lumber company. In the 1860s, he met and married Catherine Gutchess (Goetchius). Catherine was born in 1845 to William R. Goetchius and Eunice A. Bristol Goetchius. They had a son, Albert H. Leete, on June 1, 1870 in Almont. Shortly after Albert’s birth, they moved to Fish Lake, Michigan. In 1882, the firm moved to St. Helen and James retired from the firm in 1894. He then moved to Flint where Catherine died on March 22, 1916. James moved to live with his son, Albert, in North Branch Township, where he died on February 13, 1924.