What was Spindletop?
If one had asked a Beaumonter on January 1, 1901, what big news of recent months had most interested him, he would have said the great Galveston hurricane of September 8, or the dawning of a new century. If one had asked him on January 10, he would have said the great gusher at Spindletop - a salt dome about three miles south of Beaumont. Dubbed "The Lucas Gusher," the oil discovery on Spindletop Hill changed the economy of Texas and helped to usher in the petroleum age. Read more.
About Gladys City
Originally envisioned by Patillo Higgins, treasurer and general manager of the Gladys City Oil, Gas and Manufacturing Company, which was founded in 1892, the town of Gladys City was to be a perfect industrial city, featuring factories, schools, churches, homes, parks and businesses. When the Lucas Gusher blew in on January 10, 1901, there was no more time to be perfect. Quickly, the Gladys City Company began leasing land to businessmen (and some women) who built quick, clapboard buildings to sell goods and services to oilfield workers and their families.
By the early 1970s, nothing much remained of the original Gladys City. In 1975, the re-created Gladys City Boomtown was built on lands once owned by the Gladys City Oil, Gas & Manufacturing Company as a Bicentennial project and in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Lucas Gusher. Once completed, the new Gladys City was given to the State of Texas and is governed by Lamar University. Through a self-guided tour, visitors to Gladys City experience 15 replica buildings filled with objects from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries that depict life during the first Spindletop oil boom. From a saloon and post office to a general store and livery stable, visitors get a glimpse of what it might have been like to work and live in the historic Spindletop oilfield.
Gladys City complements and enhances the educational, social and cultural missions of Lamar University through stewardship of the Spindletop story, and the acquisition, conservation, interpretation and use of artifacts, representative structures, and other items of social and cultural significance to Spindletop, 1892-1951.
We aspire to be the educational and cultural leader in the preservation of Spindletop history.
Gladys City kindles the wildcatter spirit in everyone through rich, shared experiences inspired by the history, significance and legacy of Spindletop.
Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum
5550 Jimmy Simmons Blvd.
(formerly University Drive)
Beaumont, TX 77705
P.O. Box 10070
Beaumont, TX 77710
May 27 - Memorial Day
Gladys City will be closed on Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.
May 28-September 2
Click on the logo for more information.
Blue Star Museums is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums in all 50 states that offers free admission to active military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Summer Programs @Beaumont Public Libraries
Join us for a fun morning as we learn about perseverance! The men and women of Spindletop faced many challenges in their search for oil. We'll learn about the Hamill Brothers, who drilled the big oil well at Spindletop, and participate in a hands-on activity that will inspire you to never give up on your goals!
Wednesday, June 12, 10 a.m.
Elmo Willard Library
3590 East Lucas Drive, Beaumont
Friday, June 21, 10 a.m.
R.C. Miller Memorial Library
1605 Dowlen Road, Beaumont
Wednesday, July 31, 10 a.m.
Theodore Johns Library
4255 Fannett Road, Beaumont
Please contact individual libraries for more information about their summer reading programs.