Mermaid and Mer-Baby.

Mermaid and Mer-Baby

Field review by the editors.

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Sculpted by Gutzon "Mount Rushmore" Borglum in 1913, a bronze mermaid -- technically a "sea nymph" -- holds aloft a globe lamp (originally an arc light) while clutching an unhappy mer-baby. The two are surrounded by cherub heads, seals, and seahorses that spit water -- in the warm weather months -- since the fountain was restored in 2010.

The sculpture's official name is The Nathaniel Wheeler Memorial. Wheeler made a fortune mass-producing sewing machines in Bridgeport, then went on to become a railroad and bank director as well. He'd been dead 20 years before Borglum completed the mermaid and mer-baby tribute.

The unhappy mer-baby was modeled on Gutzon's son, Lincoln, who was later baptized in the mermaid fountain, and went on to complete Mount Rushmore after Gutzon's death.

Mermaid and Mer-Baby

753 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, CT
West of downtown, at the intersection of CT-130/Fairfield Ave., Park Ave., and John St.
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In the region:
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