After Europeans and later
Americans began traveling in the area, the spring and Apache Pass
became a flash point for conflicts between these rival cultures.
The modern history of Apache Pass began
with the great Apache leader Cochise, who, along with many of his
followers, favored the area around the spring as a camping spot in
winter and spring. There were often hundreds of Chiricahuas living
in the area. A little higher than the surrounding desert terrain, it
was cooler on hot days, the water was there and there was abundant
game and firewood in the area.
Apache Pass Station
In 1858, the Butterfield Overland Mail (stage) Company began service
between Missouri and San Francisco, using a bow-shaped route down
through Texas and the New Mexico Territory and on into southern
They built a stone station on the eastern side of Apache
Pass where they could utilize the water from the spring (perhaps the
only station on the entire route that was made from such durable
material, a possible acknowledgement of the danger they felt from
the locals). It is likely that Cochise provided them with firewood
when he was in the area.