The article about the missing sword that appeared in the Register-Star for May 6, 1973, quotes extensively from a book entitled The Hudson Valley Sketchbook, which the article describes as "a fragmented history of the area by Mrs. Marion C. Smith of Hudson." Further research discovered that the book was self-published in about 1964. Smith provides some interesting information that isn't always part of the accounts of how the statue of St. Winifred found its way to Promenade Hill, and for this reason, Gossips, as the Register-Star did forty years ago, quotes what Mrs. Marion C. Smith had to say on the subject:
In 1795 when the city was young and a source of pride to its citizens, this section, then called the Parade, was granted to the Common Council, forever, as a public walk or mall, and for no other purpose whatever. About 100 years later, still recognizing it as a spectacularly attractive park, Hudsonians decided it should be beautified. By July 1896, eight flower beds had been laid out in the form of stars, crosses, crescents and four leaf clovers. Coleus and bright, blossoming flowers painted the hill with patches of gorgeous color. Still one thing was lacking. Such a charming garden was not complete without a fountain.
Consequently, C. H. Van Deusen was named to take subscriptions to provide something suitable. Although the response was good, those accountable for the welfare of the city's population were uneasy with the idea. The "Register" worried editorially because "engines at the pumping house are working night and day, seven days in the week" trying to supply barely enough of that important commodity, water. Planning to use it in such a frivolous manner was disconcerting. But a solution seemed imminent for "it is proposed," continued this article, "to put meters into public houses and manufactories and to charge for the water allowed to escape needlessly."
So the fountain project progressed unimpeded. A local architect, Michael O'Connor, was a personal friend of General John Watts de Peyster, a renowned philanthropist living in Tivoli. Knowing of his penchant for donating fine sculpture, Mr. O'Connor made known the yearning of the local people for a fountain. By a lucky coincidence, the general just happened to have one on hand. It had been intended for the Watts de Peyster Hospital and Invalid Children's Home, operated by the Women's Board of Domestic Missions of the Methodist Church near Verhank [sic], N.Y. Those good ladies, faced with the same problem that was plaguing the Hudsonians, refused to provide the water supply.
General de Peyster was more than glad to come to Hudson with his friend and inspect the possible site for his fountain. He found it most desirable, but wanted the approval of the sculptor, George E. Bissell of Poughkeepsie, before making his decision. Bissell, who also executed the statue of Abraham de Peyster, first mayor of New York City, which stands in Bowling Green, was "enraptured with the location," declaring that it overlooked some of the finest scenery he had ever witnessed. The general is said to have remarked facetiously that although Hudson had many saints, he thought they would use one more.The Register-Star article from 1973 provides this additional information: "The St. Winifride statue is cast in bronze and stands 12 feet high. The fountain issued from the pedestal, which was constructed from a mass of natural moss-grown rocks taken from Becraft Mountain. The pedestal and basin were built by John Fitzgerald for the sum of $280."