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Reagan  County TX
Reagan County

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BIG LAKE, TEXAS

Reagan County Seat, West Texas

31 11' 38" N, 101 27' 32" W (31.193889, -101.458889)
Hwy 67
70 miles W of San Angelo
79 miles E of Fort Stockon
Hwy 137
44 miles N of Ozona
60 miles S of Big Spring
Population: 3,152 Est. (2016)
2,936 (2010) 2,885 (2000) 3,672 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Big Lake Hotels
Big Lake TX Water Tower
Water tower in Big Lake
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, October 2011
The county seat moved in 1925. The town was named after a lakebed that was already dry. It occasionally has some water.

The land around Big Lake was owned by the University of Texas in 1923 when Santa Rita No. 1 came in. The oil propelled the University of Texas into being one of the richest Universities in the country.

Big Lake, Texas Topics:

  • City of Big Lake Historical Marker
  • Big Lake Landmarks/Attractions photo gallery
  • Reagan County Courthouse next page
  • Big Lake TX US 67 Bldg
    Buildings on US 67 west of Main Street.
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, October 2011 photo

    Historical Marker (on US 67 & Hwy 137) Text

    City of Big Lake

    The land on which the original townsite of Big Lake was located was owned in 1903 by T. H. Taylor who sold 320 acres to the Orient Land Company, which agreed to build a railroad station and lay out a town to be called Big Lake. The city took its name from a lake created by rain which gathers in a natural land depression about one and one half miles from here. Once filled by spring-fed water, it is now the largest dry lake in Texas. In pioneer days it was the only known fresh water between the Concho River and springs at Fort Stockton and was a campsite for Indians, Mexican traders and cattle drivers. Oldest house in Reagan County, the John Gardner house, is located near its banks.

    The town was established in 1911. Its first economic activity was a stockpen built by the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad, a hotel, and a grocery store. It grew up around the line of the railroad, and by 1915 had about fifty families. Big Lake was incorporated on May 28, 1923, and in 1925 became the seat of Reagan County. Land additions were made in 1914 and 1925. Today the city is a center for the oil and gas industry.
    1967

    Big Lake Landmarks/Attractions

    1927 Reagan County courthouse, Big Lake Texas
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, October 2011
    Reagan County Courthouse
  • Reagan County Courthouse

    The 1927 Reagan County Courthouse was built of brick in the Texas Renaissance Style. The sidewalk leading to the main entrance is lighted by a row of lamps providing an beautiful night view of the building.

    A 1911 Courthouse is still standing in the former town of Stiles, although it was gutted by fire in a case of arson, Christmas Eve, 1999. The shell remains.

  • The Hickman Museum:
    609 Main St.
    The museum can be toured by appointment -
    call 915-884-2980 or 884-2082.

  • Santa Rita No. 1
    About 13.5 miles west of town on Hwy 67 is the actual well site. Next to the well site is the "ghost town" of Texon (FM 1675 .3 mile south of 67). Texon was a former "company town" built for employees of the Big Lake Oil Company.
  • Big Lake TX Wooden Jail Stiles
    "The 1904 wooden jail from Stiles has been relocated to the city park in Big Lake on E. 12th Street near Montana Avenue."
    - Terry Jeanson, October 2011 photo
    Big Lake TX Santa Rita No1
    Next to the old Stiles jail is this replica of Santa Rita No. 1.
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, October 2011
    Big Lake TX Reagan County Sites Tapestry
    "This tapestry of sites around Reagan County is hanging in the Chamber of Commerce building on Main Street."
    - Terry Jeanson, October 2011 photo
    Big Lake TX Main Street
    Main Street buildings in Big Lake
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, October 2011

    Big Lake Tourist Information
    Chamber of Commerce on Highway 67 going through town.
    915-884-2980
    Website: www.biglaketx.com
    Special thanks to Tammy Blakely, Manager of the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce, for providing update information for this page.


    Big Lake, Texas Area Towns:
    Stiles | Texon | Best
    Sterling City | San Angelo | Big Spring
    See Reagan County | West Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    Big Lake Hotels
    Big Spring Hotels | San Angelo Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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