Bead-Big Spring Brown Wood TB
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Sunday, 14 April 2013
Texas, United States
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Use TB5KG36 to reference this item.
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Please drop this item in rural OR Premium Member Only caches. Do not place it in an urban cache or abandon it at a caching event. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; the bag keeps the trackable clean and prevents tangling with other items. Otherwise, take the travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission is needed to leave the U.S.
Photos in the travel bug logs are appreciated. I will be re-post them here, where they can be seen by other cachers.
About This Item
Medium Wavy Wood Donut. While the TB owner lives on the Southern High Plains in the Panhandle of northwest Texas, he has spent considerable time in what many Texans would call Far West Texas. It remains a favorite part of the state. Much of it is the Chihuahuan Desert. In the desert are remotes outposts of civilization and even mountains that rise high enough to harbor junipers and pines. This travel bug commemorates a favorite place in the region, partly because the history and partly because of memories.
Big Spring is a city in and the county seat of Howard County. The spring for which the town was named was a crossroads. It attracted prehistoric people, the Jumano, Apache, Pawnee and Comanche tribes, Spaniards, Mexicans and Anglos. Indeed, the famous Comanche 'War Trail' had three branches to the south, all ending in Mexico. The spring is mentioned prominently in diaries, letters, field notes and reports of explorers, cartographers, traders, the US Cavalry and Texas Rangers. When the town was formed about 1880 it consisted of canvas dwellings with an abundance of saloons. The citizenry was hard to tame; in the 1880 census Texas Rangers outnumbered citizens.
The community grew because it was on the Overland Trail to California. Large mercantile stores were established to supply regional ranches. The Texas & Pacific Railroad hauled in materials of all kinds and took away cars full of cattle and buffalo bones for eastern markets. Highways were built contributing to more growth. In the years that followed, oil was discovered, cotton farming thrived and in WW II an Army Airfield was built. A far cry from the frontier days, the town has a population of about 23,000 with a large part of the economy based on public-sector institutions, such as prisons, a regional VA Hospital, a state mental hospital and a community college.
The “big spring” around which the community grew no longer exists. The spring may have yielded as much a 100,000 gallons per day in the 1880s, but the aquifer that fed it was relatively small. The mining of the water was so extensive that by the mid-1920s the water table had dropped below rise of the spring. However, in Comanche Trail Park the city has recreated the spring and lake at the site.
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