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Spring is an unincorporated area 20 miles north of Houston along I-45. Most of Spring is in North Harris County; a small part is in Montgomery County. It has a population of approximately 80,000. The Spring area was first settled in the 1820s by some of Stephen F. Austin’s colonists. In 1838 William Pierpont established a trading post on Spring Creek. Immigrants then came from Germany (in the mid-1840s), then Louisiana and the post-Civil War South. In 1871 the Houston & Great Northern Railroad built a line through Spring, which led to substantial growth. In 1873 a post office was established in Spring. By 1904 the International-Great Northern Railroad connected Spring to Fort Worth, and Spring became a major switchyard with a round house and 14 trackyards. In 1923 the railroad moved the roundhouse to Houston, which led to a decline in population. The population later rebounded, especially during the expansion of Houston suburbs in the 1970s. During this era some old homes were restored and opened as shops, which later grew to a tourist attraction of more than 80 shops by 1989. Spring was the base of one of the three Goodyear airships from 1962 to 1992.