Hawkins Spring

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Hawkins Spring in 1901

Hawkins Spring or Big Blue Spring is a deep spring located in what is now Midfield Park near Walnut Grove. The stream emerges from a deep limestone well and then flows south into nearby Valley Creek. The spring lies at the southwest end of the Enon Ridge geologic fault between Cambrian-era limestone beds and the Knox dolomite.

The spring was located on property given to David Hawkins by his father, Williamson Hawkins, as a homestead. He built a dogtrot cabin of cedar logs and welcomed travelers on the Huntsville Road who stopped at the spring.

After the Civil War the property was sold to Samuel Thomas of the Republic Steel and Iron Company. That firm incorporated the Hawkins Spring Land Company to develop the area. The spring remained a popular picnicking ground and was accessible by the streetcar lines running from Bessemer to Birmingham and North Birmingham.

The Alabama Water Company used the spring as a municipal water supply for Bessemer from 1891 to 1927. On October 5 of that year the spring suddenly went dry, prompting the emergency installation of 17,000 feet of water main to the Warrior River.

The 17-acre property around the spring was donated by W. A. Belcher to the city of Midfield in 1957 for a park.

References

  • Brown, Virginia Pounds and Jane Porter Nabers, eds. (1970) Mary Gordon Duffee's Sketches of Alabama. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press ISBN 081735011X
  • Williams, Buck (March 7, 2011) "A Brief History of Midfield, Alabama" Midfield Chamber of Commerce - accessed April 7, 2011

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