SAN ANTONIO – San Pedro Springs Park is one of the oldest public parks in the U.S.
The park was designated as a public space by the Spanish government in 1729, according to the
National Park Service, and the area around the springs was the original site of the city of San Antonio.
Prior to the Spanish explorers settling in the area, it was occupied by Payayas Indians who lived in the village of Yanaguana, the NPS reported.
SanAntonio.gov states that the park was home to camels in 1856 due to experiments from the U.S. Army and also housed prisoners during the Civil War.
While the area is rich with history, it has evolved over the decades and is now home to trails, tennis courts, a gazebo and a swimming pool.
Photos from the
University of Texas at San Antonio Special Digital Collection show what the park looked like as far back as the 1870s. Photograph shows men standing on wooden footbridge across lake in San Pedro Park. Circa 1870-1879. (UTSA Special Collections) Photograph shows looking down from footbridge towards path through trees. Ponds on either side of path. Circa 1880-1889. (UTSA Special Collections) Photograph shows view looking across the lake just below the springs in San Pedro Park. Circa 1902-1904. (UTSA Special Collections) Photograph shows unidentified man and woman standing over entrance to former lion's den next to bandstand in San Pedro Park. Circa 1900-1905. (UTSA Special Collections) Photograph shows two women seated on the steps beside the lake in San Pedro Park. Circa 1900-1905. (UTSA Special Collections) Photograph shows unidentified woman on footbridge over waterway in San Pedro Park. Circa 1900-1905. (UTSA Special Collections) Photograph shows two women, in rowboat on lake, feed swans. San Pedro Park. Nellie Rigsby (right). Circa 1900-1905. (KSAT 12) Photograph shows women seated and standing on footbridge over lake below springs at San Pedro Park. Woman standing on right, in light-colored dress, is Nellie Rigsby. Circa 1900-1905. (UTSA Special Collections) Related:
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