ROUND BOWL SPRING PARK & MADISON HISTORIC CEMETERIES
By taking a left into Round Bowl Spring Park just past the Morgan County African-American Museum, this will lead you on a scenic and beautiful path to the cemeteries.
Preservation of public springs was one of the first responsibilities of the newly incorporated town’s officials in 1809. Early efforts prohibited cutting timber within 60 yards of the spring and required keeping the fence around the spring lot in good repair. Bathing and washing clothes in the spring were also banned. This public spring, which for hundreds of years sent forth a bold, steady stream of pure, cold water, was the reason Madison’s founders chose to establish the courthouse, public buildings, and consequently the town at this place.
Planted with indigenous flora, the park encompasses the “Spring Lot” through which the original public spring once flowed. The spring joins springs from adjoining properties and from Main Street’s ridgeline to create Tanyard Branch, named for the 1830s tanyard (tanning yard) that operated a little further down the watercourse.
Marking the new millennium, the City of Madison preserved the town’s birthdate by investing in a linear greenspace, complete with an elevated walk that affords a view of the branch and its confluence of springs. Spring Walk traverses the watercourse, passes a brick and granite Civil War era railroad culvert, and loops up through the City’s cemeteries – a series of historic cemeteries and the town’s largest open space. You may pick up information about the cemeteries at the Welcome Center.
Continue down Academy Street and cross over Washington Street to arrive at Madison’s Town Park.