Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Ranger: Roaring Ranger Oil Boom Museum

Housed in the 1923 Texas and Pacific Railway's train depot, the museum tells the town’s story after oil was discovered. After a drought hit farmers in 1917, town leaders encouraged W.K. Gordon, vice president of the Texas and Pacific Coal Company in nearby Thurber, to explore for oil locally. Gordon’s second wildcatter, the McCleskey No. 1 well, blew in, flowing 1,700 barrels per day. Ranger's population swelled almost overnight from less than 1,000 to more than 30,000. The boom ended in 1921 when the wells dried up, but the Ranger discovery well opened the door to oil fields in West Texas. The depot museum uses artifacts, historic photos and a vintage drilling rig to retell the fascinating saga.  


  • 121 S. Commerce
  • Ranger, Texas
  • 76470


  • Phone: 254-647-3091

Hours & Fees

  • Saturday  10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    Call 254-647-3091 to arrange a weekday visit.


  • Free



Texas State Historical Association logo
Read more about Ranger, TX in the Handbook of Texas Online.