The cast iron fountain served as a meeting point, during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire aftermath, and a metal panel on the side of the fountain indicates this. Another panel also mentions legendary opera soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, who sang for people at the fountain on Christmas Eve, 1910. The plaque was installed in 1911. The cast pillar was donated to San Francisco by the entertainer Lotta Crabtree, in 1916.
Commemorations of the earthquake, including a dwindling pool of survivors, are held every year at 5:12 a.m. on April 18 at the intersection. It was relocated in 1974.
In 1999, the fountain, which had suffered neglect in the past decades, was totally refurbished to its 1875 appearance. It is painted with a metallic gold-brown paint. The lion's head-motif fountain stations located on the sides of the column flow during daytime hours.