The fountains assembled at one Marietta company have been shipped just about everywhere, including El Salvador, Europe, Canada, Australia and all over the United States.
Locally, the company's fountains can be seen in Marietta's Buckeye Park and the community park in Warren Township.
"We're one of the few companies that sells directly to the public, which makes us a niche market," said Nate Fulton, manager of the Rampp Group. "What surprised us is when the economy tanked, we thought business would drop off because it's not a necessary product, but we actually weathered that storm pretty well."
Arnold Huck works on a fountain inside the Sugar Creek Fountains facility on Ohio 550 in Marietta Tuesday. The company is one of three divisions of the Rampp Group. The fountains the company assembles are shipped across the globe.
ASHLEY RITTENHOUSE The Marietta Times
But the water displays are just the latest endeavor for the company, which began in Marietta in 1950.
When the owner of Ideco-an oil, water and gas well drilling tool manufacturer- moved the company from the west side of Marietta to Columbus that year, Martin Rampp and Paul Fulton were among the employees who decided to stay behind.
Rampp purchased some of its equipment and started the Rampp Company on Third Street in Marietta, manufacturing the very same tools.
The Rampp Group
The Rampp Company, Camforge, Inc. and Sugar Creek Fountains make up the Rampp Group.
The Rampp Company and Sugar Creek Fountains are located at 20445 State Route 550, Marietta. Camforge, Inc. is based in Cameron, W.Va.
In total, the businesses employ about 30 people.
Martin Rampp established The Rampp Company in 1950, Camforge was purchased by the company in 1985 and Sugar Creek Fountains was purchased in 2005.
The Rampp Company was located on Third Street from 1950 to 2001, when it was moved to Ohio 550 in Marietta.
"In 1950, they hired my grandfather, Paul Fulton, as their sales manager," said Nate Fulton. "When Mr. Rampp died about 1965, the board of directors voted my grandfather in as president."
The Rampp Group consists of the Rampp Company, Sugar Creek Fountains and Camforge Inc., with about 30 people working for all three companies.
The original company, the Rampp Company, continues to manufacture oil, water and gas well drilling tools in the facility on Ohio 550.
"There are two kinds of drilling tools - rotary and cable - and we make cable. We're one of the last few," Fulton said.
He said in the mid-1960s, there was a huge boom in water production around the world and the company's tools were highly sought after, especially in Middle Eastern countries.
"It didn't go bust, but you can only drill so many water wells, so business slowed down in the 1980s," Fulton said. "In 1984, Paul passed away unexpectedly and the board voted my father Mark in as president...and he's still the president to this day."
Fulton said the company can no longer ship its products to the Middle East because of government applied sanctions; however, they are sent to many other places in the world, as well as within the United States.
"We've picked up quite a bit of ancillary work with the (oil and gas) boom going on. Most of what we've been doing is ancillary work for pipeline companies," he noted.
Also under the Rampp Group umbrella is Camforge, Inc., through which an open die forge is used to manufacture products such as crane hooks ranging from 10 tons to 100 tons. The company has been in existence since 1900, but was purchased by the Rampp Group in 1985.
"Open die forging is a giant version of a blacksmith," Fulton explained. "We're one of the last few in the United States. It's very expensive to operate, but the forging process makes the steel a better quality product."
He added that the open die forging is actually done in the company's facility in Cameron, W.Va.; however, machining and ancillary work is done in the Marietta facility. The products are shipped all over the world.
"A lot of it goes to the steel industry," Fulton noted.
Sugar Creek Fountains is the Rampp Group's most recently established company. The Rampp Group purchased the company in 2005, moving it from northern Ohio to the facility on Ohio 550.
"The components we use, the vast majority of them are manufactured in Ohio...and the pumps themselves are made in Italy," Fulton said. "We assemble and sell them (the fountains) from here."
Fulton said the company assembles an equal number of fountains for commercial and residential customers, although farmers, golf courses and homeowners associations make up a good bit of its client base.
The company offers six different styles of fountains, Fulton said, ranging in price from $400 to $2,000.
"They have an option to put lights on it - they mount right on the float," noted Arnold Huck, an employee with the company for 17 years.
Huck added that his brother, Jan Huck, has worked for the company since 1976 and his dad, John Huck, worked for Ideco when it was located on the west side of Marietta, then made the move to the Rampp Company.
"He worked for Rampp until 1979," Arnold Huck said of his father.
Fulton said the average time the company's employees have worked there is about 35 years, and that's why they all think of each other as family.
"Our secret has been being a relatively conservative company and our relationship with our employees - we try to treat them well and they've always treated us well," he said.