Two copper cherubs and a centerpiece vase, both of which were once part of a fountain that sat outside the former Olympia Brewing Co.’s brewery, are for sale. If you have about $30,000, they could be yours, according to a Craigslist listing.
The listing was apparently posted March 18. A seller could not be determined Wednesday.
Tenino Mayor Wayne Fournier discovered the listing and posted it on his Facebook page, with the following comment:
“Someone is offering the Oly Brewery fountain statues up on Craigslist? This just seems weird, it should be somewhere prominent for posterity. If anyone wants to purchase them and donate them to the city of Tenino, we’ll find it a home!”
The brewery fountain has had a rough go of it since the brewery closed in June 2003.
The former real estate broker for the property, Troy Dana, put the two 115-pound fountain cherubs into storage in 2012 because he feared they would be stolen. He did that after four juveniles were arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.
Dana could not be reached Wednesday.
John Freedman, executive director of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation — which was started by the brewery founders — said Wednesday the foundation received a solicitation for the foundation to buy the cherubs and vase for an undisclosed amount about two months ago. He was unsure of the seller because he heard of the offer through a third party.
He took the offer to the foundation board, but “they didn’t want to pony up that kind of money,” Freedman said. However, he said, the foundation would be interested in spearheading some kind of campaign with other partners to re-create the fountain, possibly at Tumwater Falls Park.
The cherubs and vase were part of the fountain that could be seen along Custer Way when the brewery was operating. The base of the fountain is still there, Freedman said, but is in disrepair. It was branded with “It’s the water,” but that has been removed, he said.
The original fountain project was conceived and designed by brewery employees in the early 1950s as a gift to Peter G. Schmidt, the son of Olympia brewery founder Leopold Schmidt. Although Leopold started the brewery, Peter modernized it, Freedman said.
Peter G. Schmidt had a hand in the fountain’s creation, telling employees in a letter in 1952 that he had “found the ceramic vase and bronze figures in New York.”
On Wednesday, Tumwater officials were surprised to see the brewery artifacts on Craigslist.
“We have notified the owners of the brewery site about the Craigslist offering of the cherubs, and we are checking into the status of legal ownership,” said Heidi Behrends Cerniwey, assistant city manager and brewery project manager.
“The fountain is certainly part of Tumwater’s heritage, and there is interest in preserving the cherubs and the fountain,” she said. “We invite members of the community to step up and secure the cherubs and donate them to the city for restoration and placement in a secured setting for public display.”
The current owner of the brewery property is Chandu Patel, a hotel developer.