Springs, naturally occuring potable water sources, were an important resource to Indians and early settlers. While the muddy rivers and creeks of East Texas provided water for livestock, it was not very agreeable to humans, or reliable. Later underground cisterns and hand-dug wells provided the necessary potable water, but in an earlier day springs provided cool, clear water for drinking, cooking, and washing. Even after cisterns and wells, the cool, crystal clear water from springs kept many springs in use until the 20th Century.
To a large degree springs defined early habitation. Where there were springs, Indians were likely to congregate and whites were likely to settle. Below is a list of springs in the Burke area:
Lyndal Harris, who grew up across the road from Ryan Chapel Methodist Church, remembers area residents bringing their clothes and washing them at the spring south of Ryan Chapel. He also remembers people lining up their wagons at the Weisginer spring north of Ryan Chapel to haul water in barrels back to their homes.
Reader request: Please submit information on the location of springs in the Burke area.