Named after Mary Dewburleigh Barlace Warren Beaumont the town was started in 1838 as a center for cattle raisers and farmers. The town quickly got it starts and between lumber and rice-milling the town was more prosperous than it ever dreamed to be. The strategic location of Beaumont on the Neches River this active river port gave it prime opportunity to trade its goods and ship lumber across the country. This lumber was vitally needed to support the ever growing railroads needed for transport during the Civil War. This influx of money from high lumber demand gave the town the funding needed to build the first commercial rice mill in Texas, the Beaumont Rice Mill. In 1901 the already prosperous town of Beaumont got one of the luckiest big breaks in the world. January 10, 1901 out of nowhere the Lucas Gusher on Spingletop Hill exploded. This explosion was not one of water but left oil shooting hundreds of feet in the air. The explosion was so intense that nine days later the oil column was still gushing nearly 200 feet high, producing around 100,000 barrels a day. This dramatic change brought a giant influx of people into the town. From jobs to investors the town was booming with people and sightseers. Overnight 40,000 people fled the town in search of jobs and sheer curiosity. The city’s population grew from 9,000 in January 1901 to 30,000 in March 1901. Today you can take a step back in time and go through the Texas Energy Museum and see how oil has changed our lives over time.
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Right here in the heart of Beaumont, Texas you can meet some local celebrities. These big guys from the CMT show Gator 911 are dying to meet you! The only alligator theme park in all of Texas stretches over more than 100 acres and home to thousands of gators Gator Country is a thrilling vacation spot. From the self guided tours, petting zoo, and splash park Gator Country offers something for everyone. With over 300 alligators, Caymans and crocodiles, Gator Country offers every guest the opportunity to have a hands-on experience. Gators aren’t the only animals found here you can also find flamingo lagoon, snake exhibit, and wide variety of birds. If the gators are what you want to see make sure you catch the spectacular shows Gator Country has to offer. You can pick out a gator and watch as he and the expert wrestled, see feeding time for the big guys as 500 lb gator wrestle each other for food, and catch some up close encounters in the Critter Show. If you want to meet one really big star come see Big Al. Weighing in at 1,000 pounds and measuring over 13 feet Big Al is one big Alligator. Big Al is the proud certificate holder of being the largest Alligator in captivity in the state of Texas; I guess everything really is bigger in Texas. The park specializes in the rescue and preservation of alligators while also providing educational demonstrations about their beloved reptiles. Use this opportunity to bring home a vacation picture worth 1,000 pounds!