How Big Spring Got Its Name


We all know that our city is named for the spring that is located in the area we know today as Comanche Trail Park.  Before our city was here, the Spring produced the largest supply of palatable water to be found within a radius of 100 miles of its location. It served as a watering place for coyotes, wolves, and herds of buffalo, antelope, and mustangs. The spring was a source of conflict between Comanche and Shawnee Indians and a campsite used by early expeditions across West Texas.

 In 1849 Capt. Randolph B. Marcy's expedition reached Big Spring on the return trip from Santa Fe and marked it as a campsite on the Overland Trail to California.  The spring was also a campsite on the Santa Fe Trail from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to El Paso. Early ranchers, among them Adolph Miller and C. C. Slaughter, reached the area in the late 1870s, and after the ranchers came four-section plots with squatters' dugouts.

In the late 1870s the community of Big Spring began near the spring as a settlement of hide huts and saloons for buffalo hunters.  In 1880 the Texas and Pacific built through the area, following the line of Sulphur Draw several miles north of the spring. The community moved to the tracks, and Big Spring became the site of railroad shops and a station. Without that big spring, the trains of the Texas & Pacific would be thundering through the Sulphur Draw and there would be no town of Big Spring.

The Historic Spring and Plaza area are open to the public 6am-10pm daily

If you are interested in using the plaza area for an event please call 432-264-2322 for more information.