In a throwaway society, relics of the past often vanish in the name and wake of progress. The community of Old Town Spring Heights could easily have become one of those perishables. Subdivisions encroach on its western boundary, two tollways virtually pass over its north side, and traffic rushes down the main road leading by the community, making access difficult. But to the population of Spring Heights and its natives who have remained connected, the community is a town worth keeping, a little nest of history worth preserving and cherishing for new generations. The story of Spring Heights’ history and its dedicated citizenry merit its telling.
From the time of the Emancipation of African Americans in 1865, Spring Blacks did not bend under the rigors of daunting circumstances such as little education, little to no income, and scorn and treatment as second-class citizens. Whereas weaker ones may have crumbled, those who would compose the Heights used farming, the railroad, and sawmill work as job sources. Over a measure of years, the people developed a viable and organized community.
The settlement of African Americans in Spring was fed by the coming of the Great Northern Railroad, but the seeds of the population that became Spring Heights seemed to have originated before the railroad, perhaps before 1866-- before 1871, perhaps as freed slaves.
The area now known as Old Town Spring Heights had no formal name until 2006. The community was merely thought of as an adjunct to the original town of Spring. In the 1930 Census, the community was labeled “Spring Village,” but mainly the area was known as the place across the tracks or “the Quarters.” The name of “the Quarters” stayed until 2006 when the community gathered and chose the name Spring Heights or Old Town Spring Heights, matching with the “re-naming” of the town of Spring as Old Town Spring. One citizen says the proudest moment of her life came with the erection of the “Old Town Spring Heights” sign at the entrance to the subdivision. She said the community now had a real name and suggested that with the name came a true identity.