King Spring

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The wading pool at Avondale Park c. 1911

King Spring, later called Avondale Spring was a freshwater spring located in the southern slope of Red Mountain in what is now Avondale Park. The spring was well known as a watering place along the Georgia Road even before Birmingham was founded. After Abner Killough sold the area around the spring to Peyton King it became known by his name.

In the early days of Birmingham, water from King's Spring, considered far superior to well-water available in the city, was transported downtown and sold for 25 cents a barrel.

When the town of Avondale was created in 1887, the central street running north toward the railroad was "Spring Street", now 41st Street South. The Spring Branch running from the grotto was diverted into parallel ditches on either side of the street and remained open until 1925 when it was channeled into a culvert below the center of the street.

Avondale Park was planned around the spring with a rock grotto and low walls surrounding a pool which was used for wading. The spring was sealed off in the 1930s and the wading pond was covered over by baseball fields.

The spring was uncovered as part of renovations to the park in 2011. Visitors can again see water flow from the hillside a short distance to the park's lake.