Spindletop & Gladys City Boomtown Museum

Gulf Coast & South Texas

Several prospectors saw promise in the Spindletop salt dome, but it took nearly a decade before an exploratory well leased by Anthony Lucas blew a fountain of oil and kicked off the Petroleum Age in the US. Almost overnight Gladys City sprang up, full of wildcat oil explorers, and soon wooden oil derricks crowded together like trees in a forest. This intriguing, open-air museum re-creates part of the original boomtown.

Though the buildings are replicas, most of the objects are 1890s and 1900s originals. A local photo studio in business at the time is to thank for much of the amazing documentation at the museum. Only one thing is missing – add 800,000 barrels of spilled oil and then you'd really know what it felt like back then.

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