Unlike most monuments and memorials to World War I in the Twin Cities, Peavey Fountain is not dedicated to Minnesota veterans, rather, to the horses of the 151st Field Artillery Division. The 151st was a Minnesota National Guard unit which became federalized during World War I and played a significant role in the American war effort overseas.
Originally dedicated in 1891 as a monument donated by Frank H. Peavey to serve as a drinking fountain for horses when they were the primary mode of transportation, it was later rededicated on June 22, 1953 by members of the 151st to the horses in their unit who lost their lives in the Great War. During the war, horses were tasked with carrying the artillery equipment used by American artillery divisions such as the 151st.
As one walks or drives along Lake of the Isles Parkway, one cannot help but notice a beautiful fountain covered by a large granite boulder with a tablet mounted on it. The tablet’s inscription reads, “Peavey Fountain: Given to the people of Minneapolis in 1891 by F.H. Peavey as a drinking fountain for horses. This monument was rededicated as a memorial to the horses of the 151st Field Artillery Minnesota National Guard killed in action in the First World War, 1917-1918.”
However, given the fact that the monument is located in the middle of a roundabout, it is hard to observe; especially from up close due to the garden planted around it. This is especially the case when one is driving along Lake of the Isles Parkway, as they are more likely than not to miss it altogether.
With that said, this monument takes on a unique commemorative subject, as it commemorates the horses of the 151st as opposed its soldiers. The fact that its veterans later rededicated this monument to the horses of their unit reflects the significance which animals hold to people, as humans are by nature sensitive to animals being put in harm's way.