bubbler bud blubber

Robin Riley Partyplace1 at MSN.COM
Tue Jun 24 00:37:40 UTC 2003

(James D. Smith)
In at least parts of the West, "bubbler" is the name
for covered or semi-covered structures built into the
ground to trap and hold rainfall and runoff, so as to
provide water for wildlife - "drinking fountains" for
wildlife.  These bubblers certainly don't bubble (nor
are they fountains), they are totally passive, and I
have wondered about the name.  I surmise the name for
the animal version originated with someone who used
"bubbler" for "drinking fountain".

(Brabble Babbler Bubbler)

It's really a Northwest thing ... all the others are just wannabes!


Benson Bubblers

Simon Benson was a turn-of-the-century lumber baron, philanthropist and
To provide fresh drinking water downtown - and discourage his workers from
drinking alcohol in the middle of the day - Benson commissioned 20 elegant
freshwater drinking fountains, now known as the Benson Bubblers. Beer
consumption in the city reportedly decreased 25 percent after the fountains
were installed, and the water fountains still bubble invitingly on
Portland's downtown streets   

Portland History
Portland: The Town that was Almost Boston
The Lewis and Clark Expedition. The arrival of the Hudson Bay Trading
Company. The Oregon Trail migration. The Lovejoy-Pettygrove coin toss?  

While the first three events are easily associated with Oregon's early
history, Asa Lovejoy and Francis Pettygrove's momentous coin toss is a
little less familiar. But without Lovejoy's quarter and Pettygrove's penny,
Portland, Oregon's largest city, might never have been born.  

It all began in 1843 when Tennessee drifter William Overton and
Massachusetts lawyer Asa Lovejoy beached their canoe on the banks of the
Willamette River. Overcome by the beauty of the area, Overton saw great
potential for this mountain-ringed, timber-rich land. His only problem was
that he lacked the 25 cents needed to file a land claim. So, he struck a
bargain with Lovejoy: In return for a quarter, Overton would share his claim
to the 640-acre site known as "The Clearing."

Soon bored with clearing trees and building roads, Overton drifted on,
selling his half of the claim to Francis W. Pettygrove. The new partners,
Lovejoy and Pettygrove, however, couldn't decide on a name for their budding
township. Lovejoy was determined to name the site after his hometown of
Boston, while Pettygrove was equally adamant about his native Portland,
Maine. They decided to flip a coin, now known as the "Portland Penny," to
settle the argument. Pettygrove won on two tosses out of three.

Lovejoy and Pettygrove were confident that Portland, with its deep water and
abundant natural resources, would one day become a popular and prosperous
port. They might have been shocked, however, to learn how popular it soon
became and for what sort of activities.

Portland has a dark history that began in the late 1800s with Joseph "Bunco"
Kelly, a hotelier notorious for kidnapping young men and selling them to
ship captains. Many bar owners and hotel operators relied on this shanghai
trade to supplement their businesses, and Kelly was one of the best. Paid by
unscrupulous captains to intoxicate potential crew members, Kelly would
deliver his drunken quarry to waiting ships. The unfortunate men would wake
up the next day - stranded at sea and forced to work for indefinite periods
of time.

Kelly often bragged that he could gather a full crew in less than 12 hours.
Inevitably a ship captain would challenge him. One evening, in his quest to
fulfill a boast, Kelly ran across a group who had stumbled upon the open
cellar of a mortuary. Thinking the cellar was a part of the Snug Harbor Pub,
the men had each consumed cups of embalming fluid, which they had mistaken
for liquor. When Kelly found them, several had died and others were dying.
Claiming the dead were merely unconscious from too much drink, Kelly sold
all 22 to a captain whose ship sailed before the truth was discovered.

In another attempt to make a quick buck, Kelly delivered a dime-store Indian
heavily wrapped in blankets to a ship. When the captain learned the next
morning that his new crew member was a wooden statue, he became so angry
that he threw it overboard. It was recovered by two men operating a dredge
nearly 60 years later.

"Sweet Mary," the proprietor of a brothel, is another interesting figure in
Portland's history of the late 1800s. In order to elude taxes and city laws,
she operated her bordello on a barge that ran up and down the Willamette
River. Technically, she was outside everyone's jurisdiction.

The turn-of-the-century, however, seems to have brought a close to
Portland's colorful early years. Secure jobs in lumber mills and wealth from
providing goods to the California Gold Rush helped stabilize the economy,
giving the city's population more time to regulate the seedy activities of
its busy waterfront.

Personifying this shift in attitude was Simon Benson, a teetotalling lumber
baron and philanthropist. While walking through his mill one day, Benson
noticed the smell of alcohol on his workers' breath. When Benson asked these
men why they drank in the middle of the day, they replied there was no fresh
drinking water to be found downtown. Upon hearing this, Benson proceeded to
commissioned 20 elegant freshwater drinking fountains, now known as the
Benson Bubblers. Beer consumption in the city reportedly decreased 25
percent after the fountains were installed.

Simon Benson's water fountains still bubble invitingly on Portland's
downtown streets. And around the fountains has grown a city of parks,
outdoor artwork, coffee carts, microbreweries, bridges and bookstores.
Portland is a people town, whose pedestrian-friendly city blocks are half
the size of those in other towns, where outdoor benches are crowded with
readers enjoying good books and spring sunshine, and where limits on growth
have kept the surrounding countryside within a 20-minute drive of the city's

To many, Portland is still the paradise that captured William Overton's
enthusiasm so many years ago. Not a bad investment for a quarter.


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