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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Susan Graham Memorial Fountain

The Susan Graham Memorial Fountain was dedicated in 1916 to commemorate the life of Susan Williams Moses Graham, wife of University president Edward Kidder Graham. Susan Graham, who lived to be only thirty-four, was much admired and the memorial was commissioned by a committee of her friends immediately after her death.

The granite fountain, sculpted by Roger Noble Burnham, features a bas relief of a smiling woman pouring water into a basin. This basin served as a water trough for horses when the sculpture was located on Franklin Street. This purpose of the fountain reflected Graham’s interest in helping farmers' wives who came to Chapel Hill by horse to sell their goods.

In 1956, the fountain was moved from its original location near the Methodist Church on Franklin Street and installed at the northwest corner of Coker Arboretum. In the photo above, the fountain is being dismantled and moved to its current location.