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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Lampasas

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Lampasas

Lampasas is a small town on the northeastern edge of the Texas Hill Country. It was established as a permanent settlement in 1850 by John Burleson and was officially incorporated in 1883. The town is home to seven mineral springs, so it was a popular tourist attraction and encampment site in the late 19th century.

The town is only 6.2 square miles, with a population just over 6,000, but don’t let its size fool you. There’s a lot going on in this Hill Country gem! Check out a few things you didn’t know about Lampasas.

5. Spring Ho Festival

5 Things You Didn't Know About Lampasas

Photo: friendsofcoloradobend.wordpress.com

Lampasas residents hold an annual fair called the Spring Ho festival every July. It was the brainchild of residents Milton Boone and Gary Martin in 1972, and it is now a popular, annual weeklong event.

The festival is completely supported by local volunteers and draws visitors from around the area. The week of festivities includes a beauty pageant, talent contest, fishing derby, county fair, parade, BBQ cook off and much more. You can also participate in a 10k, 5k, or 1 mile run!

If you like to dance, be sure to check out the Spring Ho Dance on the Square in the Historic District of Downtown Lampasas.

4. Oldest Spring-fed Pools in Texas

5 Things You Didn't Know About Lampasas

Photo: trtdg.com

The spring-fed pools at the historic Hancock Springs Park were established in 1883 and are the oldest spring-fed bathing pools in Texas. Lampasas grew around the springs and still draws its water supply from them. The water flows from Marble Falls limestone and on into Sulphur Creek.

In the 1880s, the springs became famous for their curative properties and Lampasas became a popular health resort. The promoters of the Santa Fe Railway built a 200-room hotel, called Park Hotel, in 1882. It included luxuries like a boardwalk to the springs and several bathhouses. After the property’s short run as a hotel, it was home to Centenary College, until it burned down in 1895. The area is now a city park.

3. Historic Hancock Springs Bathhouse

5 Things You Didn't Know About Lampasas

Photo: Flickr/QuesterMark 

While you’re at the springs, don’t forget to visit the Hancock Springs Bathhouse.

Word got out about the mineral springs and their curative properties shortly after the first settlers built their homes in Lampasas. It soon became known as the “Saratoga of the South”. The Hancock family, who originally owned the land around the springs, sold the property in 1882.

The land was eventually transferred to the Lampasas Springs Company. It subsequently built the Hancock Springs Bathhouse, which included changing rooms, facilities for hot and cold baths, and separate bathing pools for men and women. The facility lost its roof in 1920 due to flood waters from Sulphur Creek, which is fed by the springs.

The City of Lampasas purchased the land in 1936, so the springs could supply water to the city’s residents. To preserve its history as a tourist destination, the city stabilized the remaining bathhouse walls in 2003.

2. Hanna Springs Sculpture Garden

5 Things You Didn't Know About Lampasas

Photo: lafta.org

The Hanna Springs Sculpture Garden is located in Campbell Park, near the Hanna Springs Swimming Pool.

The sculpture garden grew out of an idea by local artist Nancy Gray. Under her direction, three artists carved stone sculptures on the site, and it was dedicated on July 8, 2005. David Hickman’s “Portal to the Springs”, Carolann Haggard’s “Lampasas Furniture” and TJ Mabrey’s “IV Florae for Flora”, are the foundation pieces of the sculpture garden. The Lampasas community embraced the project, and additional pieces were recently added.

The master plan for the garden has not come to fruition yet, but the Lampasas Association for the Arts is working to help raise the funds to complete the project. Visitors can view the original pieces, as well as new pieces at their annual exhibit.

1. The Murals

5 Things You Didn't Know About Lampasas

Photo: visionlampasas.com

If you are interested in art, you don’t want to miss The Murals. They are all near the historic district, and each one tells a story of the heritage of Lampasas. The Vision Lampasas Art Committee proposed a plan to beautify the buildings in the downtown area with a series of murals.

To involve the town’s residents, the murals were installed as giant paint-by-number pieces. This made it easy for anyone in the community to show up, pick up a can of paint and paint the corresponding numbers on the wall. The project now includes eight murals, all painted by local volunteers.

From wildflowers to Sulphur Creek to cowboy boots, the murals paint a picture of the city’s culture and history.