KILGORE Pop. 11,855 Alt. 371


Plantation owners settled area before Civil War, but town was not established until building of Great Northern Railroad (later Missouri Pacific) in 1872. Town is center of huge East Texas Oil Field discovered 1930; over 1,200 oil wells once within city limits; some still producing. Some remaining steel derricks are nostalgic reminders of early boom days; now decorated during Christmas.

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 life. Also, geological exhibits and a simulated 3,800-foot elevator ride to the oil formations within the earth. Open Tues. - Sat. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (till 5 p.m. May - Sept.); Sun. 2 - 5 p.m. U.S. 259 at Ross St. Tel, (903) 983-8295. (On Kilgore College campus.) Admission.

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. Open Tues. - Fri. 10 a.m. - noon, 1 - 4:30 p.m.; Sat. - Sun. 2 - 5 p.m. On campus on Broadway at Ross; free admission. (903) 983-8265.

The worlds richest acreWorld'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 St.



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