Who Should Attend
Geologists, geoscientists and anyone interested in exploring the site, the history, geology and vision of those who dared to drill "The Lucas Gusher," the oil discovery on Spindletop Hill that changed the economy of Texas and helped to usher in the petroleum age.
About Field Trip
The Spindletop trip takes participants to the site of the “Lucas Gusher,” where on January 10th, 1901 in Beaumont, Texas, 100,000 barrels per day gushed from a salt dome formation. This discovery changed the economy of Texas and helped to usher in the modern petroleum age. The first six gushers in the Spindletop field produced more oil per day than the combined production of all the other producing fields in the world. 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. Lucas and the Hamills finally controlled the geyser on January 19, when a huge pool of oil surrounded it. By that time, throngs of oilmen, speculators, and onlookers had already transformed the city of Beaumont. A new age was born.
The trip will begin with a chartered bus picking up the attendees at 8 a.m. Thursday morning from the George R. Brown Convention Center, providing a guidebook that describes the day’s tour, and then heading for our first stop at the Texas Energy Museum in Beaumont, Texas. The focus at the museum will be on the early history of the Texas oil industry, and we will hear early drillers, Lucas and Patillo, talk through demonstrations on reconstructed wooden oil derricks.
The bus will then travel to the reconstructed Gladys City Boomtown in Beaumont, located on the Lamar University Campus, where we will relieve history by exploring some of the fifteen replica buildings filled with objects from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries that depict life during the first Spindletop oil boom. Field trip attendees will even be able to experience the “blowing of the gusher” by the eruption of the Lucas well replica. We will have lunch at the Gladys City Saloon, and 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 and local historian from Lamar University talk about Spindletop and answer questions. There will also be a discussion on the geology and viewing of seismic across the salt dome. Past and present exploration of the Spindletop area will presented. After the informative museum visit, the bus will take us to the site of the Lucas Gusher discovery well. Then we head back onto the bus for the return trip to George R. Brown Convention Center.
Arrive at Texas Energy Museum, Beaumont, depart at 11:15 a.m.
11:45 a.m. - Arrive at Gladys-City Spindletop Museum. Eat lunch. Tour recreated period city and listen to lectures on history, wildcatters, geology and 3-D geophysics of Spindletop. Author signing of “Giant Under the Hill: A History of Spindletop” at 3 p.m. View re-enactment of Lucas Gusher blowout. Leave for well site at 3:15 p.m.
3:30 p.m. Arrive at Spindletop Park and view well site of Lucas Gusher. Learn more of geology of Spindletop Oil Field. Depart for Houston at 4 p.m.
Professionals/Students: $150 (Students Sold Out - Students spots have been filled)
Applicable Credits: CEU 8
Limit: 22 people
Includes: Ground transportation, lunch, entry fees, refreshments and guidebook
Notes: Temperatures can range from 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit during this time period. Please wear comfortable clothing. Watch weather reports and bring umbrella or poncho if needed. Some light activity outdoors so wear hat or sun screen if needed.