Captain F. Fountain, captain of the old Chicago life station, located at Central
Pier, No. 1, at the mouth of the Chicago River, has been in charge of this important
station since 1894. The work during the summer months is confined chiefly to small
craft, while in the spring and fall larger wrecks frequently occur.
The station was established many years ago and was remolded about 1875. For many
years it was in charge of Captain St. Peter, and during that time over 700 lives were
saved. During the regime of Captain Fountain about 200 have been rescued. The station
is well equipped, the crew consists of eight men, and the season lasts for eight months
and ten days. There are two lifeboats, two sailboats and one Whitehall boat, eighteen
feet in length, and used for short runs; and an English lifeboat, which was received at
the station in the fall of 1898. It is one of the finest boats in the service, and is
longer by eight feet than the English boats formally used, has more metal in her keel,
and is therefore harder to capsize; it is equipped with a centerboard and has superior
Captain Fountain has been in the life saving service for over ten years. He was born
in Two Rivers, Wis., in 1869, and is the son of Adolph Fountain and Alid Gauthier
Fountain. Adolph Fountain is a native of Canada, and came to Two Rivers, Wis., in 1847.
He is a cooper by trade, but also engaged extensively in fishing. He is at present a
resident of Sheboygan, Wis. The Captain was reared and educated at Two Rivers, and
busied himself in his youth with fishing.
In 1888, while yet a boy of nineteen years, he entered the life saving service as
a surfman at the Racine station. He was thence transferred to Milwaukee, and thence
to Grand Haven. In 1892 he became a member of Captain St. Peter's crew at Jackson Park,
Chicago, and in 1893 went with Captain St. Peter to Ludington, Mich., returning to
Jackson Park in 1894. In September of that year he was appointed to his present charge.
In 1895, in Ludington, Mich., he was married to Miss Louisa Hutt, and to them has been
born one child, George. Captain Fountain has won his promotion by faithfulness and
ability, and is one of the well- known life-saving service men in the lakes.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer
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