Forest Trail Region


By 1885, Kilgore, a stop along the International-Great Northern Railroad, had a post office, two steam gristmill-cotton gins, a church, a school, and an estimated population of 250. Cotton drove the local economy through the turn of the century but the Great Depression, along with cotton's decline, cast the town into hard times. But then Kilgore latched onto a star — a really big, big star made of oil. By 1936, this Texas Forest Trail city — located near the heart of the East Texas Oilfield — was known nationwide as the "World's Richest Acre." It had more than 1,000 producing oil wells within its city limits, the greatest concentration of oil derricks in the world, and a population of more than 12,000 citizens. Today, 60 of those oil derricks still stand, topped with giant lighted stars, making Kilgore the most festive-looking city in the state around the holidays. The "City of Stars" is also home to the East Texas Oil Museum, the Kilgore Rangerettes and the Rangerette Showcase Museum, and Driller Park, a Texas Historical Marker ballpark constructed oil field pipe, tank steel, and concrete in 1947 to celebrate the postwar return of baseball. Go East Texas Drillers and PumpJacks!