Old Oil Town

Luling is a small central Texas town that was transformed by the discovery of oil. In the early twentieth century, Luling was merely a far western stop on a branch of the Southern Pacific railroad. In 1922, a successful oil well launched vigorous exploration in the fields in and around the city. An oil boom ensued, and the incoming workers caused the small town to grow tenfold almost overnight.

Luling grew around the producing wells, and today one can find pump jacks in parks, next to a grocery store or a bank, and in parking lots (184 wells are in the city limits). Even though the air is often filled with the pungent aroma of sulphur from the wells, the people of Luling have embraced their city’s history. Miniature derricks great motorists on one of the major highways at the edge of town. With a sense of humor, Luling commissioned a sign artist from a local small town to create permanent decorations for the pump jacks, making them “mobile art.” The iconic pump jacks have become a fixture to those living in and traveling through the city.