Marker [072]
Sand Springs
(Corner Of Loy Lake Rd. And Park Lane, Denison)


A noted watering place on pioneer trails, known as early as 1840 to settlers and prospectors who camped near the strong currents of water boiling up at the foot of a rocky bluff. The sandstone of the bluff's face became an inscription rock, in which travelers carved names or initials and dates of their visits, sometimes to assure friends or relatives who were to follow later over the same trail.

A campsite for prospectors, including California-bound gold seekers passing this way, 1849-1850s, the spot was mapped in 1857 as a watering spot for the Southern Overland mail coaches of John Butterfield racing from Saint Louis to San Francisco. After the Civil War (1861-65), many cattle herds passed this way for water while being driven north to market.

When Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad was built to Denison townsite in 1872, Sand Springs gained new importance, feeding Waterloo Lake, built in late 1800s and used for many years (prior to 1908) as city's main water supply. But the old campsites were inundated. Other steps in man's progress reduced flow of the water The area remained a popular picnic grounds for years. Its history is revealed by the weathered carvings still visible on the inscription rocks.