East Texas Oil Museum

The East Texas Oil Museum, also sometimes referred to as ETOM, is located in Kilgore, Texas, on the Kilgore College campus. The museum focuses on the history and impact of the discovery of oil in east Texas starting in the early 1930s. Visitors to the museum will get a chance to look at what the people of that time looked like, what they did in their downtime, and what types of tools were used. The museum features movies, sounds, antiques, and diorama’s in order to show the full picture of what life was like back then.

The museum is a testament to the strength and fortitude of early independent oil seekers, or Wildcatters, as they were known then. The museum features many pieces of history that might otherwise have been forgotten. It also showcases the conditions of what these men and women lived through and the hardships they had to endure.

Boomtown, USA

Inside the East Texas oil museum, you’ll find the fictional city of Boomtown, USA. This attraction is a full-scale reproduction of a town, which includes the shops, the locals, the animals, and even some of the machinery that was used back in the 1930s in a real boomtown. You can check out reproductions of what a real town from that time period looked like, including Overton Drugstore, Pistol Hill gas station, Arp General Store, and the local newspaper called the Gusher Gazette. You can also check out some amazing videos at the Boomtown Theater.

Volunteering

For residents of Kilgore and those who live in the surrounding communities, the East Texas Oil Museum is always looking for volunteers, docents, or museum guides. If you have a passion for East Texas history and live in the area, you are welcome to apply. Dawsons conducts guided tours and answers questions for tourists and guests. It’s a great way to get back to the community and to further the knowledge of the area during the oil boom.

Visiting

Check their website before visiting for up-to-the-minute details and information. The museum is generally open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., although the last admission to the museum is at 4 p.m. to allow time for visitors to explore. They are closed on most major holidays, as well as winter and spring breaks.

Admission to the museum is reasonably priced, and there are discounts for military members and seniors. Kids under the age of two are free. Parking is easy and accessible, and at the time that this article was written, it was also free.

This local fence contractor supports the community of Kilgore.

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