The fountain outside of the Mary Aaron Museum in Marysville was originally located at the center of Cortez Square.

Object Lesson: The fountain at Mary Aaron Museum

Editor’s Note: Object Lesson is an occasional series of features connecting area residents with local history by examining items in the collections of local museums.

Cortez Square was the heart of Marysville in its heyday, and at the center of the bustling park was the fountain that now resides outside of the Mary Aaron Museum in Marysville.

The fountain was installed at the center of the square by the Women’s Civic Improvement Club of Marysville in 1912 as part of their “city beautiful” project, according to the Sacramento Union, Volume 165, Number 44.

According to Appeal archives, the park was dedicated to public use in 1851 and named after  Pastora Cortés y Alcazar, the wife of José Manuel Ramirez, a businessman, aristocrat, artist and one of the original city founders of Marysville. 

Chris Pedigo, a volunteer at the Mary Aaron Museum, said the fountain was a focal point for the square but was also used as a watering trough for houses and other livestock. 

Pedigo said Cortez Square was the biggest park in Marysville at the time, a central gathering place for the community that was located where the Yuba County Jail and Courthouse now sits. 

“It’s where the community came together,” said Pedigo. “They held dances there, civic events, it is where they would hold Veterans and Memorial Day services.” 

Because the park was always bustling with activity, Pedigo said the fountain acted as the heart of the city. 

“Parks have a certain magic,” said Pedigo. “It’s the place where the community would gather, to make memories, and the fountain was the center of all of that.”

According to Pedigo, the fountain has been housed in the yard of the Mary Aaron Museum since the 1950s.

– Lynzie Lowe,

What Do You Think?

Masks: Why have they become such a controversial topic? We asked participants on our Facebook page to share their perceptions about masks – whether they‘re a proponents or opponents.

Here are some responses:

– Toni Bryant: I wear them. I work with the public. A lot of them are nasty. Dirty, coughing, not covering their mouths... I clean the partition that separates you from the cashiers. Spittle, nose spray… super gross. Masks are to keep that stuff from traveling. I wear it for my family and yours.

– Melissa Jenkins: Masks are a sign of respect. I wear a mask to protect other people in my community in case I am asymptomatic and contagious.

– Barbara Harper: Don’t wear a mask… doubt their efficacy. But do observe standard cleanliness and hand sanitation.

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