Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum
5550 Jimmy Simmons Blvd
Beaumont, TX 77705
Tuesday-Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday: 1 – 5 PM
Children 6-12: $2
Children Under 5: Free
The Texas Oil Boom began on January 10, 1901. On that day, Captain Anthony F. Lucas reached oil underneath Spindletop—a salt dome three miles south of Beaumont, Texas. “The Lucas Gusher” spewed oil for nine days before it was brought under control. Over that time, it is estimated that the gusher produced 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The frenzy that this massively rich deposit ignited fundamentally changed the economy of Texas making it the energy hub of the nation and the world.
It had long been suspected that there was oil under Spindletop. The trouble was getting at it. The Gladys City Oil, Gas, and Manufacturing Company tried and failed to drill a well in the area. When founding member Pattillo Higgins left the company, he recruited the leading expert in salt dome formations: Captain Anthony F. Lucas to try again. Even so, it took almost all they had before Lucas uncovered a 150 foot geyser of crude—the largest gusher to date.
The nearby town of Beaumont, Texas tripped its population in the following three months. Rickety structures were thrown together as new investors, workers, speculators, and services flocked to town. Throughout Texas and the Gulf, speculators explored salt domes and other formation to find the next Spindletop. The Texas Oil Boom, like every gusher, was swift, messy, and incredibly profitable.
Today, a model boom town surrounds a recreated derrick commemorating the “The Lucas Gusher” of 1901. Visitors can wander through a land office, news room, grocery, saloon, and other period recreations. If you time your trip right, you can also experience a gusher from the derrick. Don’t worry about a mess, though—today it spews water rather than oil.