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For other places with the same name, see Kilgore (disambiguation).
The Kilgore History and Art Center

Kilgore is in the Central Piney Woods region of East Texas. Home to slightly less than 13,000 residents, Kilgore is often identified as the "Oil Capital of East Texas", due to its proximity near the center of the vast East Texas Oilfield. Residents are proud of their heritage, and evidence of the city's prominence in petroleum production is widespread and accentuated throughout Kilgore.

Get in[edit]

The nearest airports serving the area around Kilgore are Tyler Pounds Regional Airport [dead link], and Longview East Texas Regional Airport. However, Kilgore is easily accessible via automobile, and maintains a bus station which serves Greyhound Bus Lines.

Get around[edit]

Kilgore is just south of the junction of US Highway 259 and IH20, and at the junctions of Texas Highways 31 and 42. US 259 is the city's main thoroughfare; most places of note and interest lie within a few blocks of it. Kilgore's historic (and revitalized) downtown area is easily accessed from Kilgore Street, one of the city's major east-west streets. The side streets can tend to be on the rough side, typical for a small East Texas town, but all are passable in essentially any automobile.


  • The World's Richest Acre Park. On this 1.2-acre site in Downtown Kilgore once stood the greatest concentration of producing oil wells in the United States. Over 2.5 million barrels of oil were culled from this location. All but one of the original derricks had been dismantled by the 1960s, but the original remains along with 26 steel reproductions and a replica pumpjack. Open year-round.
  • The East Texas Oil Museum, Highway 259 (at Ross St), +1 903 983-8295. Tu-Sa 9AM-4PM (til 5PM April September), Su 2-5PM, special holiday schedule between Christmas and New Year's Day. Every aspect of the life of a 1930s oil boom town is recreated in this museum, which includes a full scale reproduction of a muddy Kilgore main street. Highlights include a virtual trip 3,800 feet deep into the Earth's crust to view simulated oil formations, and a restored 1930s-era oil derrick.
  • Driller Park. This small ballpark, built in 1947, was once home to the minor-league Kilgore Drillers. A local treasure and Texas historical landmark, the park now serves as the home field of the Kilgore High School Bulldogs.
  • Kilgore College Rangerettes/Rangerette Museum. M-Th 9AM-4PM, F Sa 10AM-4PM. The Rangerette Showcase and museum on the Kilgore College campus features a mechanized display of Rangerette props, a display of costumes from the spring stage show, Rangerette Revels, and thousands of photographs and newspaper clippings dedicated to the first synchronized linear dance troupe of its kind.
  • The London Museum and Tea Room, Texas Highway 42 (in New London, 10 miles south of Kilgore), +1 903 895-4602. M-Sa 9AM-4PM. This small museum contains artifacts and stories of the horror of the New London School Explosion, which occurred on March 18, 1937. Museum tours are hosted by Mollie Ward, herself a survivor of the explosion. Before leaving, stop by the tea room for an old-fashioned hand dipped malt or shake. Large groups should call ahead to set up a time for their visit so volunteer tour guides can be arranged.


  • The Texas Shakespeare Festival. East Texas' only professional theatre company, in residence on the campus of Kilgore College.
  • Holiday Trail of Lights. Drive through the World's Richest Acre Park and marvel at the majesty of star-topped oil derricks that highlight Kilgore's skyline. November–January.


There are antique and curio shops in downtown Kilgore. If you have time and money to spend, they're worth browsing through. You never know what you may run across. Oilfield mementos of all shapes and sizes are readily available all over town.



  • Country Tavern (State Highway 31 & FM 2767, on the road to Tyler), +1 903 984-9954.


Go next[edit]

Routes through Kilgore
DallasTyler  W  E  LongviewShreveport
CorsicanaTyler  W  E  LongviewEnds at

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