Pecos Trail Region


Midland may have begun as little more than a halfway point between big cities Dallas and El Paso along the Texas and Pacific Railway but its long-standing relationship with petroleum (also called “Texas tea”) transformed it from rural town to glittering city with a skyline that could be seen thirty miles away. Midland’s first crack at petroleum prosperity began in the 1920s, known as the Permian Basin oil boom, a black gold rush that brought thousands of investors and workers into the community. By 1929 thirty-six oil companies called Midland their home office. But where it booms it also busts and the community hit hard times in the 1930s due to an oil glut and the Great Depression. Good times rolled back in after 1945 and by mid-century another 215 oil companies had established offices in Midland. The pattern would repeat several times during the second half of the 20th century and, in fact, has yet to subside in the 21st. Midland wasted no time putting its prosperity to work over the course of its oil boom and bust cycles, creating cultural centers like the Museum of the Southwest, the Marian Blakemore Planetarium, the Sibley Nature Center, and the Commemorative Air Force Airpower Museum. Although promoted as “Queen City of the South Plains” over one hundred and twenty-five years ago, Midland still deserves the crown.