The site of this spring was outside the area included in the 1879 Survey known as East Mountain. This area was crowded with wood structures by 1885. The spring, which flowed from a small cave lined with projections of onyx stone, was already recognized for the healing waters.
Later made a stream down over the rock ledges to the creek below. This overflow of Little Eureka springs, cave springs and others joined this stream further up the ravine. The spring overflow was very accessible and townspeople soon began to collect the water from below for household use. A wash house or laundry was established below the spring. In an early census, many women listed their occupation as a laundress.
The town’s first government quickly passed an ordinance to protect all the springs. Circa 1880, ordinance No. 10, Section 2: All persons washing their persons or clothes in or above the basins of all public springs shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The Riley Survey of 1893 delineates the boundaries of a spring reservation. On August 4, 1903, an ordinance was enacted creating and describing the Laundry Spring Reservation. The spring was known, however, from that date as Onyx Spring . And the onyx stone is reputed to have been taken for souvenirs over time.
In 1922, residents of East Mountain raised all the funds needed to employ carpenters Dillow and Bingham to make improvements around the spring. They built a wood shelter over the cave opening. It was proudly boasted “Not a penny came from the city for these improvements.”
The Parks and Recreation Commission officially recognized the spring as Laundry Spring on October, 9, 2003.