Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Denham Springs to restore springs it was named for

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DENHAM SPRINGS - It may be hard to believe, but a slimy, 3-foot hole in the ground, down in the woods, is how the city of Denham Springs began. It's actually an opening to a large underground aquifer.

Before all of the trees and overgrown paths were there, the springs served as the town's hub. Historically, people came from far and wide to visit the springs as they were rumored to have health benefits. Mayor Gerard Landry wants to make the area a tourist destination once again.

"The potential for this is endless," explained Landry. "I mean, obviously it's being fed, so there's water close by, and hopefully we can have a nice park again that people can come and utilize, and the really nice thing would be for it to become a tourist destination like our historical district."

In order to do that, the city enlisted the help of LSU geology professor Douglas Carlson, who is tasked with mapping the springs, and possibly something else--

"Turns out historically there's a couple of old hotels," said Carlson. He took a trip to the location on Friday to see what he was dealing with.

A mural on display inside the Old City Hall depicts what may have been one of the hotels surrounding the springs that burned down during the Civil War. Now, no one knows where it exactly was and it's Carlson's job to find it.

"To do the geophysics, it may work or not, it all depends on whether there's a lot of buried pipes or other structures to find the footprints of those old buildings that used to exist," he said.


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