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Landmark on the move

Oregon City Council agrees to relocate Iron Mike

OREGON – A plan to move a landmark to keep it safe moved a step closer to reality Tuesday evening.

The City Council approved moving Iron Mike, a century-old drinking fountain, from the sidewalk on Washington Street/state Route 64 just west of the intersection with Fourth Street/state Route 2 to the Ogle County Courthouse lawn.

Oregon Mayor Ken Williams said the fountain will be moved only a few feet to the south of where it is now.

“It won’t be much of a move. It will still be very visible,” he said.

The county board approved the move last month, and the two governmental bodies will split the cost.

City officials decided the fountain should be relocated after it was narrowly missed by a vehicle involved in a traffic accident a couple of years ago.

Widening the intersection about 10 years ago brought the fountain within 2 feet of the traffic at the busy intersection.

At its new location, the fountain will be the focal point of a seating area with two benches and brick pavers around it.

Williams showed the council a proposed drawing of the fountain at its new location with a new base made of old bricks that came from city streets.

The matter will be brought back to the council as soon as the plans and costs are finalized, Williams said.

Iron Mike is a cast-iron fountain that was presented to the city and installed by the Ogle County Humane Society in 1901.

Water flows from it at three levels, first accommodating thirsty people at the top, then horses, and finally dogs and small animals near the ground level.

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