Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown celebrates anniversary Saturday

Published 4:58 pm Thursday, January 7, 2016


BEAUMONT — Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum will step back in time Saturday during the 115th anniversary of the Lucas Gusher at Spindletop

The annual event celebrates the wildcatter spirit, which brought the oil industry to the U.S. right here from Southeast Texas.

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“The gusher brought Texas into the industrial revolution, pretty much the entire oil business in the U.S. today got its start on the day the gusher came in,” Mike McGreevy, a member the Jefferson County Historical Commission and volunteer at the museum, said.

Located on the Lamar Campus at 5550 Jimmy Simmons Blvd, Beaumont, the all-day Drillers Reunion anniversary event is from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For the day, the museum will be transformed to resemble life back in 1901 when, led by Anthony F. Lucas, the Spindletop oilfield field came in, and a new age was born.

To celebrate a reenactment of the Lucas Gusher is scheduled at 10:30 a.m.

Throughout the day people will be in period costume, including a group of ladies representing the Ladies Temperance Union, who will come and take over the saloon.

The ladies will serve a generous helping of their disdain for alcohol with the tea they use to supplant the firewater that was so popular among the wildcatter crowd of the early 1900s when the Spindletop filed was booming.

Scheduled performances of the saloon takeover are at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:45.

There will also be different skits such as bank robberies and a shootout performed the Big Thicket Outlaws. The Traveling Murphys, who play a mix of bluegrass, will provide music and folk, as well as demonstrations of blacksmithing, printing, soap making and woodcarving.

There will also be a fashion show at 3:15 p.m.

“The oil and energy throughout the U.S. is one of the most important in our country, and that was the place and day it all started,” McGreevy said.

Food trucks will be available for those in attendance to purchase a meal.

Jennifer Shepherd, Spindletop guest services coordinator, said the anniversary celebration is the museum’s biggest event each year.

“We get people from all over the world. Some are just tourist who want to stop by and see what is going on, but a lot are from the oil industry, people who work in the industry and want to come see where it all started,” Shepherd said. “The weather is good, so we want everybody to come out and gave a good time.”

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for children 12 and younger. For those wearing period costumes, admission is free.

E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com

Twitter: skooncePANews