A Travel Guide to Kilgore, Texas

A bridge over a body of water with a city in the background

Summer vacation is here and if the answer to the question of where to go this summer is eluding you, Kilgore, Texas may just have the answers. And of course, you could always bring your favorite casino game pastime on-the-go through Oncapan.

Kilgore, Texas is the home of the world famous Rangerettes, Kilgore College, East Texas Oil Museum and the “World’s Richest Acre”. Nestled amongst the piney woods and lakes of East Texas, Kilgore was first settled by cotton planters before the Civil War. The town was established in 1872, with the coming of the Great Northern Railroad.

In 1875, the estimated population of Kilgore, Texas was 250 residents. Kilgore continued to grow with the popularity of the railroad and had a population of one thousand residents in 1929. In mid-1930, a decline in cotton, Kilgore’s main economic source, and the Great Depression caused many businesses to close and the population to drop in half. In the fall of that year, Kilgore became an international headliner when one of the greatest oil fields of the time was discovered.

Ten thousand fortune hunters invaded the area from all over the world in just ten days. By 1939, twelve hundred oil derricks were within the city limits, most of them were accumulated within one city block which became known as the “World’s Richest Acre”.

Kilgore College was established in 1935 during the height of the oil boom. In 1939, the dean of the college wanted to attract more young women to the college as well as keep people in their seats during football half times, so, in 1940, the Kilgore College Rangerettes, the first precision drill team in the world, was created by Gussie Nell Davis.

The Kilgore College Rangerettes became internationally known by their performances in the pregame and half-game shows of the Cotton Bowl, several Dallas Cowboy games, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and a few U.S. presidential inaugurations. They have appeared on magazine covers such as Life, Newsweek and Esquire, to name a few. The Rangerettes have appeared on many major national television programs and were featured in a Cinerama movie entitled “Seven Wonders of the World”.

On your visit to Kilgore, Texas be sure to visit the East Texas Oil Museum as well as the Rangerette Showcase and museum. Surround yourself in the arts with Kilgore College’s Texas Shakespeare Festival. Have a peaceful afternoon reading a book at the historical Kilgore Public Library, a French Provincial style building modeled after the architecture found in Provence during the Middle Ages. Play a round of golf at the Shallow Creek Golf Club, take a dive in the local pool, most importantly, don’t forget to visit the “World’s Richest Acre”.