Abilene   Pop. 115,930   Alt. 1,738

Henderson --Ghostly ruins of fort Phantom Hill near Abilene.


Established by cattlemen as a stock shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railroad in 1881, the city is named for Abilene, Kansas. Later Abilene, Texas became a major cattle producing area on its own with diversified farming.

In more recent years oil has added great impetus to the city's economy.

When the city celebrated its centennial in 1981, the city set up a demonstration oil-drilling rig on the county fairgrounds - just to illustrate the techniques of "making a hole." Suddenly, By pure accident, it struck oil!!! Not much, but enough for modest, profitable production.

Cultural aspects influenced by Abilene Christian Univ., Hardin-Simmons Univ., and Mcmurry Univ., branches of Cisco Junior College and Texas State Technical College; community theater and a philharmonic association and fine arts museum.

The West Texas Fair, ten days in mid-Sept., features exhibits and amusements reflecting the early days of Abilene, plus modem attractions of West Texas, The Western Heritage Classic in early May features ranch rodeo, campfire cook-off, sheep dog trials, farrier competition, Cowboy Poet's Society, Western art show, and many other activities recalling early Western heritage. The third weekend in April features an arts festival, "Celebrate Abilene!", in the downtown area.

Abilene lies on U.S. 84, a segment of the Ports to Plains Highway connecting the state's heartland to coastal Dorts. as well as on U,S. 83, 277 and 1-20.

Abilene State Park-

621-acre park near Lake Abilene; camping, trailer facilities, picnicking, shelters, swimming pool, rest rooms and showers, hiking and fishing. Large grove of some 4,000 native pecan trees, now a favorite picnic area, was once a popular campground for Comanche Indians. About 15 miles southwest on F.M. 89. Admission.

Abilene Zoo-

One of the five largest zoos in the state; animals are displayed in modern areas simulating their natural habitat.

Discovery Center is a "zoo within a zoo," housing comparative habitat displays of invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and small mammals from the Southwestern U.S, and Africa. The zoo is in Nelson Park, about 3 miles east of city on Texas 36 across from West Texas Fairgrounds, Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (7 p.m. holidays and weekends during summer). Admission.

Buffalo Gap-


Center for Contemporary Arts-

Working artists have studios displaying rotating exhibits. Open Tues. -Sat. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Sunday. 220 Cypress,

Dyess Air Force Base-

Home of the Air Combat Command's historic 7th Wing. Currently flies B-1B Lancers and C-130H Hercules. The base's Linear Air Park contains 31 aircraft from World War II to the present. Aircraft displayed along Dub Wright Blvd., main base thoroughfare. Open during daylight hours. Visitors must stop at main entrance for a temporary pass. (Note: Base may be closed temporarily during occasional military exercises.) For extensive base tours to flight lines, reservations must be prearranged with Public Affairs Office, 915/696-5609. Loop 312 south of Business Loop 1-20 / U.S. 84.

Grace Museum -

The former Grace Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as home to three museums:

Art Museum - Features traveling exhibits from around the world and works from the Museum's permanent collection

Historical Museum - Recreates life in West Texas from 1910 to 1945. One section highlights Camp Barkeley, a W.W.II Army Camp.

Children's Museum - Hands-on exhibits explore art, science, technology and more!

The Grace offers symposiums, family activities, lectures and a wide variety of children's programs. The restored ballroom, glassed-in loggia, roof-terrace and enclosed brick courtyard are available for rental.

Hours: Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat. --- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday --- 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday --- 1 to 5 p.m. Closed Monday & Holidays

Admission: Adults---$3; Senior Citizens, Students, Military---$2; Ages 4 to 12---$1; Free admission on Thursdays, 5 to 8:30 p.m.



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