Skip to Main Content

Kilgore, Texas: East Texas Oil Museum

Take the "elevator ride to the center of the earth," where marionettes teach you the geology of the oilfield. Buddy, a life-size robot lineman, greets visitors as they enter "Boomtown, USA." Museum renovated in 2019; all the 1970s exhibits were kept.

Kilgore College

1201 S. Henderson Blvd, Kilgore, TX
Kilgore College campus. Henderson Blvd/Hwy. 259 at Ross St.
W-Sa 10-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults: $10, Seniors/Military: $9, Children 3-12: $7, under 3 free.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About East Texas Oil Museum

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Buddy the robot lineman.

East Texas Oil Museum

It's an indoor replica of complete small town from the '30s oil boom. Movie theater, drug store, barber, newspaper office, feed shop, and so much more. The elevator ride to the center of the earth and the feature movie should not be missed. Located within the campus of Kilgore College.

[Luv2RV, 05/04/2022]

East Texas Oil Museum.

East Texas Oil Museum

Make sure you go into the "movie theatre" and watch the show about oil. The end will make you jump!

[Jolynn, 09/24/2010]

May 2022: Photo added.

East Texas Oil Museum

A small, usually-empty museum with a heavy dose of kitsch and an even heftier one of TEXAS PRIDE. Kitsch highlight is definitely the "elevator ride to the center of the earth," which features hokey (and slightly-in-need-of-repair) marionettes teaching you about the geology of the oilfield.

There's also a life-size walk-through replica of part of Kilgore's main street as it appeared during the first winter of the oil boom - a time known as the Big Muddy because heavy rains turned the ground into several feet of sticky mud. The exhibit goes for realism - there's a donkey-cart stuck in the ground!

The shops and storefronts are all open to walk around in, providing a mix of "frozen history"-style museum lets (there's a dry goods store packed full of vintage clothing and accessories) and facades hiding other exhibits (the movie theater shows period film footage from the boom).

Docents are mostly elderly folk who actually lived through the time period in question and knew a lot of the people pictured in the old photographs and wall murals, which makes for an interesting tour.

[Jennifer George, 02/13/2009]

Nearby Offbeat Places

World's Richest AcreWorld's Richest Acre, Kilgore, TX - < 1 mi.
The Discovery WellThe Discovery Well, Overton, TX - 13 mi.
Motel Used By ElvisMotel Used By Elvis, Gladewater, TX - 12 mi.
In the region:
The Grove - Haunted, Jefferson, TX - 40 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Texas Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood, California (Mar 4-10, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings