Big Spring State Park

History

Big Spring State Park is 381.99 acres located within the city limits of Big Spring in Howard County. Both city and park were named for a natural spring that was replaced by an artificial one. The park was deeded by the City of Big Spring in 1934 and 1935, and was opened in 1936.

Comanches and earlier Indian groups frequently visited the park area in the past, probably attracted by the permanent source of spring water. Spaniards may have first visited the area as early as 1768. However, the first recorded mention of the spring is from an October 3, 1849, entry in the journal of Capt. R.B. Marcy of the U.S. Cavalry on his return excursion from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Other visitors to the park and spring include cattle drovers and immigrants moving to new territories, as can be seen by carvings they left behind (circa 1917, turn of the century). Today the City of Big Spring occupies the area and is involved in several businesses such as agriculture, tourism and the refining of petroleum. Nearby, Interstate 20 transports high volumes of traffic east and west across Texas.

Shortly after the State of Texas acquired the park property in 1934, the park was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was created during the Great Depression to employ young men unable to find jobs. Using limestone quarried on the site and quality workmanship, the CCC built the pavilion, headquarters, residence, pumphouse and restroom. Their biggest project was the three-mile drive that loops around the mountain following the ledge of limestone rimrock capping the bluff. Retaining walls for the drive were built using large blocks of limestone, some weighing as much as two tons, and mortarless masonry techniques.


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