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Ritter Park

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The Ritter Park Fountain is one of Huntington’s most iconic landmarks. Constructed in 1999, the fountain is also adjacent to stonework designed by landscape architect Gus Wofford in the 1920s. The fountain, which is dedicated to an important local entrepreneur, received major renovations in 2019.

Ritter Park Fountain.

Water, Sky, Plant, Cloud

The Ritter Park Fountain was constructed in 1999. The family of D. Sterling Diddle donated the fountain and plaza in Diddle’s memory. Diddle was born in Huntingon in 1896 and was a prominent businessman. He founded the Guaranty Bank and Trust Company in 1939. This enterprise grew to be worth over $140 million in 1988, when Diddle accepted an offer from the Charleston based National Banc of Commerce to merge the two banks. 

The fountain itself is a simple stone circle with a central jet surrounded by smaller jets on the edges. The decorated stone arches and retaining walls adjacent to the fountain are original elements designed by Gus Wofford in the 1920s.  In 2019, the fountain received a major renovation, which fixed the fiberglass bottom, improved the waterflow, and made the entire feature computer controlled. LED lighting was also added for additional customization. The repairs and modernizations cost just shy of $135,000, a lion’s share of which was raised by Diddle’s grandson, Sterling Hall. Photographs of Ritter Park Fountain can frequently be found in local businesses and in the background of prom, wedding, and event photos. 

Casto, James E. Lost Huntington: Guaranty Bank, Associated Press. April 1st 2019. Accessed February 10th 2021.

Hager, Beth and Austin St. Clair. “Ritter Park Historic District.” National Register of Historic Places. Accessed February 10, 2021. 

Ritter Park Fountain facelift nears completion, 13NEWS. September 23rd 2019. Accessed February 10th 2021.

Ritter Park fountain to undergo renovation, The Herald-Dispatch. March 9th 2019. Accessed February 10th 2021.

Webb, Mark. The Herald-Dispatch. Accessed February 10, 2021.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Webb, Mark. The Herald-Dispatch. Accessed February 10, 2021.