The purpose of the East Texas Oil Museum is to pay tribute to the independent oil producers and wildcatters, to the men and women who dared to dream as they pursued the fruits of free enterprise beginning in the 1920s. They were subsequently successful in discovering and developing the great East Texas Oilfield in 1930 and beyond. Our mission is to preserve, through period artifacts, oral histories, and primary source documents, a mosaic to document East Texas in the 1930s.
The work we do at the museum is to tell the known history of the period and continually uncover and explore lesser-known facts. The museum strives to tell a more diverse history of the area than what may have previously been shared.
Tours are designed to allow the visitor the opportunity to understand what it was like to live in this part of Texas during this specific era. The museum houses traditional exhibit styles, but we also have a life-sized recreation of a town booming in oil named Boomtown. Our visitors step into history. Unlike living history locations, our village is indoors, so it is always available and never closed due to weather. We encourage our guests to ask questions about areas that interest and intrigue them.
We welcome schools of all sizes- public, private, and homeschool groups. We offer a two-hour tour covering many topics related to TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) but allow for questions and exploration of the museum. Our most popular question is about the mud in the street of Boomtown. Everyone wants to know if it's real and really like that in the 1930s. We love sharing the answers and showing a photo of a bulldozer sitting in a muddy, trenched street.
We also offer special exhibitions included in the general admission ticket. These exhibits cover various topics, including political history, Texas history, sports, science, and art.
We do not have a current location for lunch but have an agreement with the City of Kilgore for use of the City Park, less than two miles away. To reserve a pavilion, call Theresa Benson at (903)988-4108.
If extremely cold or rainy weather, we will find a location on campus where the students can eat inside. Please call the museum for arrangements.
We have one set of restrooms. There are two stalls in the ladies and the mens.
We hope that you reschedule instead of canceling. However, we understand that unexpected issues occur. We ask that as soon as your plans change, you update your reservation on this site. This will allow a standby tour to fill your time.