This Field Trip has been CANCELLED.
Robert Pledger and Rosemary Laidacker will lead a group back to the site of the historic Spindletop oil discovery that made Texas famous for oil in 1901. The oil discovery is near the campus of Lamar University in East Texas. Participants will be able to stand next to were the famous well blew out at 100,000 barrels of oil per day. Robert Pledger will share knowledge of the underground geology of the salt dome including core samples, cross sections, and seismic images. This one-day field trip (Saturday, September 19, 7:30 am – 5:30 pm) leaves from the Hilton Americas and has plenty of opportunities for scenic photos and participants can buy Spindletop oil gusher memorabilia.
Maximum number of participants: 43 (4 Student spots) Cost: $125 per person; $25 for students (includes transportation, lunch and refreshments, guidebook, and admission fee)
This trip takes a group to the site of the “Lucas Gusher”, where on January 10th, 1901 the discovery at Spindletop on a salt dome formation south of Beaumont gushed 100,000 barrels per day and changed the economy of Texas and helped to usher in the modern petroleum age. The first six gushers at Spindletop field produced more oil per day than all the rest of the fields in the world put together. The Lucas geyser, found at a depth of 1,139 feet, blew a stream of oil over 100 feet high until it was capped nine days later and flowed an estimated 100,000 barrels a day. Lucas and the Hamills finally controlled the geyser on January 19, when a huge pool of oil surrounded it, and throngs of oilmen, speculators, and onlookers had transformed the city of Beaumont. A new age was born. The world had never seen such a gusher before.
The trip will begin by chartered bus picking up the attendees Saturday morning at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Then it will be on to the Texas Energy Museum where the focus will be on the early history of the Texas oil industry. We will hear early drillers, Lucas and Patillo talk through demonstrations on reconstructed wooden oil derricks.
The bus will take the group to the reconstructed Gladys City Boomtown in Beaumont. 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. We will have lunch at the Gladys City Saloon. A guidebook will be provided. We will learn about the history and geology of Spindletop and tour the reconstructed town as it would have existed in 1901. We will hear a Spindletop author from Lamar University talk about Spindletop and answer questions. There will also be a discussion on the geology and viewing of seismic data across the salt dome. After lunch and the Gladys City Museum visit, the bus will take us to the site of the Lucas Gusher discovery well. Then it is back on the bus for the return trip to the Houston Convention Center.
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