OIL PATCH TOWN
Throughout the first half of 1922, the rural farming community of Luling enjoyed all the pastoral characteristics of a peaceful agricultural town typical of the early 20th century. Cotton and pecans dominated Luling’s farm production and two railroads passing through town helped make the community a shipping point for goods across the region. But by the end of August that year everything would change. Wildcatter Edgar B. Davis, after drilling six consecutive dry holes, hit the jackpot with Rafael Rios No. 1, poking a hole in an oil field twelve miles long and two miles wide. The discovery transformed Luling into a lively, and rowdy, oil patch town.
Luling’s transition from quite rural village to thriving oil patch headlines the exhibitions at the Central Texas Oil Patch Museum, a collection of artifacts and documents chronicling the rise of the oil and gas industry in and around the region. Housed in a restored 1885 mercantile store in Luling’s town center, the museum’s collection includes a working model of a modern oil rig, pump jacks, tools, and photographs as well as the “Oil Tank Theater”. Nearby, the community offers visitors shopping and dining, including servings of Luling’s nationally recognized BBQ and locally grown watermelons so tasty that they enjoy their own festival, the annual Watermelon Thump. In keeping with its oil patch legacy, Luling commissioned artists to decorate almost two hundred oil well pump jacks around town. The whimsical jacks are featured in the self-guided Pump Jack Tour and maps are available from Luling’s Chamber of Commerce.
Central Texas Oil Patch Museum
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Closed from 12 to 1 for lunch)
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.