Plantation owners settled area before the civil War, but the town
was not established until building of the Great Northern railroad
(later Missouri Pacific) in 1872. The town is center of huge East
Texas Oil field discovered in 1930s, over 1,200 wells once within
the city limits, some still producing. Some remaining steel derricks
are nostalgic reminders of early boom days, now decorated during
EAST TEXAS OIL MUSEUM
WORLD'S RICHEST ACRE
- EAST TEXAS OIL MUSEUM - Every
aspect of the oil boom days of the 1930s is re-created through
dioramas, films, sound and mementos of the oil field, and from
the daily lives of the people. An ancient drilling rig is displayed
outside. Inside, stores and a street scene bring the past to lie.
Also, geological exhibits and a simulated 3,800 foot elevator
ride to the oil formations within the earth. U.S. 259 at Ross
Street. (On Kilgore campus).
- RANGERETTE SHOWCASE -Films
and displays of props, costumes, uniforms, awards, and mementos
of Kilgore College's world-famous precision drill and dance team,
known for its trademark "highkick" routine. The first
of its kind, the Rangerettes were formed in 1940 as half-time
entertainment for local football games. Their performance at bowl
games and internationally has brought fame to Kilgore College.
On campus at Broadway at Ross.
- WORLD'S RICHEST ACRE - On
part of one downtown block, actually about 1.2 acres, once stood
greatest concentration of oil wells in the world producing more
than 2.5 million barrels of oil. All but one of original derricks
were dismantled in early 1960s. The original derrick and eleven
new ones, erected in a historical preservation program, are monuments
to the oil boom of 1930s. A historical marker details history
of the plot. An interesting sidelight is that one well was drilled
through terrazzo floor of the Kilgore National Bank that once
stood on site. Business Route Texas 135 at Main and Commerce Streets.
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This file was last modified Thursday, 12-Oct-95 01:39:20