ALBANY'S LAST HORSE TROUGH BACK IN SERVICE

Brad Kelly Staff writer
Section: LOCAL,  Page: B2

Date: Thursday, June 2, 1988

Water is once again flowing to what city officials say is the last remaining horse trough in Albany.


The small granite watering hole, which is part of the Dana Memorial at Dana Park on Delaware Avenue, was last used by the horses that pulled Freihofer Baking Co. bread wagons in the late 1940s, according to city Parks and Recreation Commissioner Richard Barrett. Now it is being used to refresh the four-legged members of the Police Department's mounted patrol unit and to water a small garden in the middle of the park.


"It's a nice place," mounted police officer Daniel Meher said. "The water's always nice and cool there and you don't have to worry about what's in it. The horses like it."


Barrett said the trough was hooked up to the city's water supply system in May.


"It's far better to have some water in it than to have it the way it was," he said. "This seems to be the last remaining one in the city."


The trough is part of a granite monument erected in 1903 in memory of James Dwight Dana, a noted geologist and contemporary of Charles Darwin, according to the book, "Early Maritime Artists of the Pacific Northwest Coast 1741-1841," written by John Frazier Henry.


The park is a small area tucked between busy Madison Avenue, Delaware Avenue and Lark Street. The monument bears the name of Dana and features carvings of trilobites, an extinct marine arthropod; crinoids, a marine animal, and a giant eurypterid, the ancestor of the king crab, according to Barrett.


The monument was erected by the Dana Natural History Society, which according to Richard Patrick, deputy commissioner of preservation for the Parks Department, is the oldest active women's naturalist group in the country.


The organization was established in 1868 by a group of students at the Albany Female Academy (the Albany Academy for Girls) after a series of lectures by Adrian Ebel, a student at Albany Medical College who had studied at Yale under Dana, according to a newspaper article on file at the Albany Institute of History and Art.


Edith Ogden, of Delmar, an archivist for the society, said her group has about 25 members. She said it makes annual field trips to wildlife areas around the Capital District and periodically gives awards to Bethlehem middle school students who take part in the district's science fair.


The society donated $100 to the city's Tricentennial celebration in 1986 and the money was used to plant a tree in Dana Park, Ogden said.