Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
The Spring Runs Its Course
#3 - Huntsville Water Trail
In 1843, LeRoy Pope's son, William generously sold Big Spring to the city for the paltry sum of one dollar, and in 1858 the city acquired the water works from Dr. Thomas Fern for $10,000.
Later, the city began to invest heavily in the water system, leading to the development of several textile mills in the late 1800s. The system continued to improve, replacing all the cedar pipes with cast-iron by the 1890s; adding chlorine to the drinking water in 1914; and installing the city's first sewage line in 1917.
The '20s and '30s brought an increase in electric power, reducing the need for hydroelectric power produced from Indian Canal off of Big Spring. In 1954, the City of Huntsville appointed its first water board, and by 1957 the Big Spring was no longer needed as a water supply.
Caption: Permission granted by Huntsville Madison County Public Library and Archives.
Erected by Huntsville Utilities. (Marker Number 3.)
Topics. This historical marker Charity & Public Work • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 34° 43.764′ N, 86° 35.198′ W. Marker is in Huntsville, Alabama, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from Fountain Circle Southwest near West Side Square. Marker is in Big Spring Park, near a footbridge across the canal. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Huntsville AL 35801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Big Spring (a few steps from this marker); Northern Terminus Indian Creek Canal (a few steps from this marker); Making the Water Work (within shouting distance of this marker); Where Does the Spring Water Go? (within shouting distance of this marker); The Big Spring of Today (within shouting distance of this marker); John Hunt (within shouting distance of this marker); History at Its Source (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Major General H.N. Toftoy, USA. (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntsville.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 18, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 18, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.