There is no doorway for us to walk through in this post, but the San Pedro Springs and surrounding area has more history than can be recounted in just a few words. In researching the Park I have collected enough data to write a book. I have found myself reading through archeological abstracts and other surveys, spellbound by the findings. Needless to say, I have struggled with writing this post because there is so much to share, so I'm going to offer just a few facts and pictures for now.
This area just northwest of downtown San Antonio has been a gathering place for humans for thousands of years. Prehistoric artifacts including bones, projectile points, and stone tools have been found during archeological investigations.
|In times of plentiful rain the Springs will flow from the openings in these rocks as well as from other springs scattered throughout the Park|
Early explorers would often confuse these springs with the nearby springs that create the headwaters of the San Antonio River. The abundant supply of water from both springs was diverted to mission farmlands through a system of acequias built by Old World craftsmen who were skilled in designing and building perfectly functioning waterways that used a gravitational flow system.
King Phillip V of Spain declared the area around San Pedro Springs an ejido (public land) in 1729. When the Canary Islanders arrived in 1731 they were given temporary use of the land for farming. It would be used by the military for encampments as well as civilians for public gatherings. A plaque in the park declares that this is the second oldest public land in the United States; however, I read in several places that it is actually one of the top 10 oldest. Records of the original boundaries were lost during the turbulent years of the early 1800's. In 1851 the City re-established the boundaries based on the memories of older residents.
|There are 3 springs contained in this rock walled enclosure|
|View of the main springs area from cliff above them|
There are many very large trees in the Park. These cypress trees along the side of the pool are quite large, but there are several oaks that have a tremendous base and wide, spreading branches. Obviously, they have all witnessed many years of the history of this enchanting ejido.
San Pedro Springs Park was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.