History & Overview of Sulphur Springs, Texas
Founded as Bright Star in the late 1840’s by pioneers who camped and eventually made their homes near the more than 100 natural springs that bubbled from the land. The territory was re-charted in 1870, and due to its central location became the county Seat of Hopkins County. In 1871, it was decided to rename the town Sulphur Springs and market the area as a health resort due to the healing waters that flowed beneath the surface of the Northeast Texas soil.
Currently, Hopkins County is making a name for itself in the equine industry. The Civic Center houses a 40,000 square foot livestock pavilion and expansion of the complex with an additional 66,000 square feet, complete with 300 new stalls with warm–up arena and wash racks in the final completion stage. Horse breeders, from as far away as Montana, Maryland, California and Florida have moved their operations into the area.
As the population has grown to more than 16,000 local residents, businesses and services have expanded to support the community’s growth. Sulphur Springs has a public library, 3,000 acres of parks, a municipal airport, five hotels, more than 50 food service establishments, a 100 bed hospital facility, a police and sheriff department, five banks, and over 115 churches. As the boundaries of the city expanded and industries moved in, the springs for which the town was named were built upon and all but forgotten.
What to Do
Sulphur Springs, also known as “The Celebration City”, is a growing community on Interstate 30 between Texarkana and Dallas.
The signature of the city is Celebration Plaza. Sulphur Springs has completed a revitalization effort downtown where over 300 events and public activities are hosted in Celebration Plaza each year. The square has been transformed from a parking lot to a park. It features a splash pad, landscaping, game tables, bistro areas, and a 50-foot flagpole in the center. Lights dance to music during holidays. A statue of a soldier from the Korean War was erected and six fantastic veterans walls displaying the names of veterans who have lived or currently live in Hopkins County have been installed. In addition, the newly renovated courthouse sits on the northeast corner and is viewed as a monument to history.
A lighted, interactive fountain in the shape of the Texas star, illuminated with ultra violet light is a favorite with the kids. Sulphur Springs also now has a new attraction that’s both whimsical and practical; the only see-through public restrooms in the United States – built with one-way mirrors so people inside can see out, but those outside cannot see in.
Hopkins County Courthouse
The Hopkins County Courthouse was made an official Texas Landmark in 1975. The original courthouse along with the entire east side of the square burned in 1894. The current courthouse, made of fireproof red Texas granite, was built the following year on the northwest corner of the public square. In 2000, a historic preservation grant funded the complete restoration of the edifice with some modern conveniences, such as the addition of an elevator and central heating and air.
The Courthouse with its unique architecture and prime location in the city is what people remember the most when visiting. We proudly consider it a true Sulphur Springs Landmark that can’t be skipped when visiting.