Big 'Spring' coming to Town
The Big Spring CVB has contracted with Kelly Cook and KDC Associates to undertake a major renovation project at our Historic Spring. The focus of the project will be educational components that will inform visitors about the significant history of the Spring, not only to the development of Big Spring, but to areas west of Big Spring.
From a historical standpoint, the “big spring” of Howard County is one of the most significant springs in Texas, and arguably, the United States. Studies have found that the spring was an important watering hole in West Texas prior to man setting foot in the region. Mastodon, wooly mammoth, saber-toothed tiger, and the remnants of many other now extinct species have been found near the spring, suggesting that this was an important watering hole for many thousands of years. Cabeza De Vaca documented he visited the site in 1535. The site was a meeting place for the Comanche Tribes as they set out on the Great Comanche War Trail. The site is designated by the State of Texas as a Historical Site where Captain Randolph Marcy stopped on his journey from Ft. Smith Arkansas to El Paso. The Spring became so important to the development of the railroad in West Texas, many cities in the area were formed along the rail line. The Bankhead Highway was eventually built adjacent to the rail line and ultimately became the route of Interstate 20.
The project will use construction materials featuring native stone and CCC style architecture that will blend with the construction used in the park area. It will be fully handicapped accessible and will include a new plaza area with seating capability for 1,000+ with full electrical hookups and performance stage. A widened trail for access will be added along with additional lighting and security cameras as well as emergency vehicle access. New low-maintenance planting areas will be included as well as thinning in some areas for visibility, appeal and safety. New observation deck overlooking the spring will be added with artificial outflows to create 2 areas of waterfalls. 8 large (5 ft. x 10 ft.) story boards made of engraved corten metal with a limestone block background will be displayed in the plaza area. These story boards will depict the significant historical periods of Big Spring History and will be surrounded by native plants. There will be a walking area devoted to the Native American history of our area and a replica of a ranch dugout will also be addedt to represent the importance of our ranching heritage.
We feel the importance of the Spring should be shared with visitors and local residents and our project will make this site a stopping point for many who pass through.
Construction is planned to begin in early 2017.