|The first State Historian|
to present in a saloon!
I arrived at Gladys City early so that I could photograph the boomtown buildings in good light. After looking around the visitor center and gift shop, I stepped back into the past. Gladys City is a living museum which features more than a score of clapboard, false-front buildings. There is a two-story hotel, drug store, post office, livery stable, print shop, surveyor's office, tin shop, photo studio, two-story saloon, blacksmith shop, doctor's office, and other boomtown enterprises, all connected by boardwalks. There are wooden oil derricks, along with the nearby Lucas Gusher Monument, a towering granite monument which originally stood at the Spindletop gusher site, about a mile south of today's Gladys City replica.
Early Spanish explorers used seepage from oil springs near Sabine Pass as caulking for their sailing craft. A few scattered oil wells were drilled in Texas, starting with a producing well near Melrose in 1866. Thirty years later the growing town of Corsicana tried to expand its water supply by drilling wells. Instead of water the wells produced oil, and Corsicana developed the first oil field and oil refinery west of the Mississippi River.
|The Lucas Gusher Monument|