I began noticing how many town names contain the word spring. This is not so unusual since a source of water is essential for there to even be a town. “Spring” has at least 7 meanings as a verb. Tears spring from the eyes, for example. It has at least 6 meanings as a noun. Among other things, a spring can be an elastic device, the season we are all looking forward to, and a water source. Surely its name in so many town names springs from this last meaning. I began springing forward with this subject.
I was only up to R in a list of California towns when I had found 7 “spring” towns. I had found an equal number of towns in Arkansas, so I gave up. There were simply too many. I began, of course, in Alabama, where I mentally travelled to Springville and Union Springs. Springville is home to more than 4,000 people, but Union Springs is far smaller. Springville was named for the spring water that relieved the thirst of Native Americans and settlers. It was a popular stopping place and was originally named Big Springs. It’s not too far from Birmingham and a stand alone community.
There are no important spring towns in Alaska. I guess Alaskans melt snow for water. Arizona has a town named Peach Springs, but that’s about it.
Arkansas was the first state with many springs. There were 7 of consequence, and all of them had a population of more than a thousand. A couple of them were familiar cities like Springdale and Hot Springs. The others were small towns named Elm Springs, Mineral Springs, and Sulphur Springs. Heber Springs has more than 7,000 people and was named for a prominent doctor in town. It was originally called Sugar Loaf, but that name caused confusion because there was another Arkansas town with a post office with the name Sugar Loaf. The 7th town in Arkansas named for nearby springs is Eureka Springs.
The towns in California with spring names also all had more than 1000 residents. They began with Borrego Springs. It was near 2 towns called Warner Springs and Ocotillo Wells that were so small they were not listed by Rand McNally. Borrego Springs is not too far from the city of San Diego. Boyes Hot Springs, a town I had never heard of, had a population of close to 7,000 and was near Santa Rosa. Desert Hot Springs was an affluent town not too far from the largest and most famous spring town, Palm Springs. Diamond Springs is home to 11,000 people and is near tiny Shingle Springs. Both are near Sacramento. Newberry Springs is near Barstow. Because the area is so arid, Newberry’s first name was “Water”. Running Spring is a city of close to 5,000 souls near San Bernardino.
Palm Springs, Springdale, and Eureka Springs are the only 3 spring towns among the ones named above that Ruth & I are familiar with. We have spent time in all of them. Eureka Springs is a mountainous tourist town. Growing Springdale is south of Bentonville, home to Walmart and Crystal Bridges. We might have drifted through other spring towns listed above, but they did not register as memorable.