SALADO SPRINGS. The Salado Springs are five groups of moderately large springs at Salado in the Balcones fault zone in Bell County. The springs, which are not saline, were probably named after Salado Creek. The area around the springs was long occupied by the Tawakoni Indians and by Paleo-Indian peoples for thousands of years before them. Spanish explorer Juan Antonio Bustillo y Ceballos very likely visited the springs in 1732 on his westward journey. The area was settled by Archibald Willingham in 1851 and subsequently became a well-known stage stop. A dam built in 1863 to power a mill flooded some of the lower springs until a court order finally forced the lowering of the dam in 1878. All of the springs rise under artesian pressure through faults in the Edwards and associated limestones. The larger ones include Robertson Springs; Big Boiling Spring, which at one time reportedly rose in a fountain almost two meters high, and around which a stone wall was built during the Chisholm Trail cattle drives to keep the cattle out; and farther downstream to the east, the Elm, Benedict, and Anderson springs. The primary recharge area for the springs is probably to the southwest in Williamson County, where several faults cross Salado Creek. Water enters the Edwards limestone here and moves northeast toward the springs. In the 1980s the average accumulated discharge from all the springs was around 460 liters a second.