With any town there are going to be landmarks that are iconic for the town. Some of the oldest icons in Sulphur Springs are the Hopkins County Courthouse on the Square and what is now City Hall in the downtown area.
Of course, today’s City Hall was yesterday’s Library and many years ago the Post Office. It is a beautiful building, and it is good for Sulphur Springs that it is still being used.
The same can be said about the Courthouse, since it is still a working courthouse. Both the Courthouse and City Hall are icons on the Sulphur Springs landscape, and both have been mentioned here before.
Some other “old” icons are the beautiful homes along Davis Street, College Street, Connally Street and Oak Avenue. Not only are these homes beautiful, but they also have stories and histories that go along with them.
For some reason, I am drawn to the cowboy on the Sulphur Springs Muffler sign on Jefferson Street. He can only be described as retro cool! I also love the art deco buildings that are now Payne Electric on Jefferson Street and the Medicine Chest on Main Street. These buildings have so much more character than a new building. We should be so thankful that the owners have preserved them.
I believe the Dairy Queen on Main could also be considered an icon of Sulphur Springs. My parents often told stories of going there when they were dating and newly married. It is just a classic little drive-in that has been enjoyed by our community for decades.
Other lovely old buildings that could be considered Sulphur Springs icons are the downtown churches. Though they have changed a bit through the years, the First Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, First Christian Church and First Presbyterian Church buildings are all unique structures which provide a framework for downtown.
An unusual landmark that many folks driving through on Interstate 30 may have noticed is the small cemetery (known as the Spence Cemetery) in the north median between the highway and the service road on the east side of town. I have never noticed another cemetery situated as this one. I would think it would be a bit precarious to visit. Based on the dates on the few headstones, it probably doesn’t receive many visitors. It appears to have been used during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Newer icons would be two larger-than-life cows at the Southwest Dairy Museum as well as the museum itself. The Veterans Memorial and other military related statues such as the soldier with his rifle at the ready, the wounded veteran with his dog, etc. are all icons and have been frequently photographed since their unveilings.
Heritage Square is also an icon of the community and effectively mixes the old with the new. The historic Courthouse on one corner and the newer Texas star water feature on the opposite corner provide a perfect balance. Other new additions such as the modern glass bathrooms, giant chess and checker sets, as well as the Little Free Library provide something for visitors to do as well as add to the iconic beauty of the area. And don’t forget the bronze dog and water fountain on the south side of Connally, east Davis St.
The Mary Bonham’s Kids Kingdom and the old red caboose at Buford Park are great new icons that replace the elephant slide, merry-go-round, and tall, wavy slide that were the playground equipment when I was young. I wonder where these bits of playground equipment went?
Another icon found at Buford Park would be the large Stew Pot in the median.
What other iconic structures make our town unique? Which ones are your personal favorites?
Additional Information: I have purposely left off photos of most of the iconic structures mentioned because I thought it might inspire you to get a vanilla Coke at Dairy Queen and go riding around our lovely community!
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