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Scott's Last Prank

Published July 17th, 2014

This explains why there is a Scott Fountain on Belle Isle in Detroit Michigan.

James Scott inherited his wealth, and spent it freely on gambling, drinking, and chasing the loose women of Detroit. He also enjoyed bagpipes, practical jokes, pranks and antagonizing his rivals.

Except for waiters, waitresses, and newsboys, who he tipped generously he had few if any friends in Detroit. The 'respectable' people of Detroit considered him of low moral character.

He left no heirs when he died in 1910 and willed his entire estate to the City of Detroit with one condition. The money was to be used to build a fountain in his honor on Belle Isle, featuring a statue of him.

While the leaders of Detroit debated over whether or not to accept the gift, its value doubled. The fountain was finally built in 1925.

This year the State of Michigan made Belle Isle a State Park and the fountain has been restored.

When I look at his statue I think of him still laughing at his last prank!

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