BIG SPRING, TX (KWES) - Big Spring's namesake will receive a $1.8 million dollar makeover. The spring will serve as an educational exhibit to teach visitors the significance of the site.

It started with one Big Spring resident coming forward. He took a look at the historic Spring and realized the city's namesake should be taken care of a lot better. The resident met with the community services director, Debbie Wegman to propose a renovation project.

"We really had not thought about it before, but when he mentioned it, I immediately took it to our city officials and they were very excited about the prospect of doing that," said Wegman.

Now just two years later, the project has a $1.8 million budget and is on it's way to becoming a reality.
The city hired a landscaping architect out of Midland. The first step was finding out the cultural and archeological significance of the historic spring.

"We had to do a whole lot of investigation. We had to figure out why the Spring was important. Why it was there. How did the city end up being named after that? So, there was about a year, actually, of historical documentation and study on that," said Landscaping Architect, Kelly Cook.

Evidence suggests the spring served as a watering hole for saber-toothed tigers, wooly mammoths, and mastodons. 

Thousands of years later, in 1849, the first American to document visiting the spring was Captain Randall Marcy, he was looking for a southern route for immigrants to travel to California.

This first documentation of the "big spring" assisted in mapping the Texas and Pacific Railway in the 1870s and 1880s. The route went south instead of going through Lubbock because Marcy documented the spring was a dependable water source...

"Colorado City, Sweetwater, Coahoma, Big Spring, Midland and Odessa all developed on the rail lines that went South because of that Spring. Had the spring not been there, there is a very high chance those cities would not exist or would not be where they are today," said Cook.

The spring is also known as one of the most holy sites of the Comanche tribe..

The renovations will include a variety of story boards that incorporate the various eras of the spring  from pre-man to present day. There will be a plaza and second observation deck added and a pump system will help the spring flow again.

The second phase of the project will include a pavilion that can be rented out for special events.

It's the rich cultural history that the city of Big Spring is hoping to share with residents and tourists.

"It's a very historic site and we want people to know about the history of not only Big Spring, but West Texas," said Wegman.