was established in 1874 as a terminus for a branch of the Southern Pacific
Railroaad and quickly developed a reputation as the "toughest town in
Texas." This reputation came courtesy of cowboys working the Chisholm Trail
who came to town with little use of law and order.
When the cattle drives ended in the 1880s, by the 1890s Luling had calmed down
to being a quiet town of around 500.
When the cowboys left town, cotton became the dominant force in the Luling
Until oil was discovered by Edgar. B. Davis who risked every
penny he had to pay for drilling in the Luling area. On August 9, 1922 Rafael
Rios No. 1 well came in after drilling 2,161 feet. This was followed by more
wells, eventually opening up an oilfield 12 miles long and two miles wide.
With the discovery of oil the Luling economy quickly switched from being a
railroad town and agriculture to focusing on oil for the next 60 years.
Eventually the railroads that had caused the foundation of the town of Luling,
began pulling out of town for good in the 1930s and 40s.
At last count the population of Luling was 5,080.
There is no definitive answer as to how Luling got its name. Some will tell you
the town was named after a Chinese railroad worker. Some say it was named
after a judge named Luling. While others claim Luling was the maiden name of a
railroad mogul's wife.
WHAT TO DO IN LULING
You can shop for antiques, collectibles and artists' artwork in
the numerous shops that line Luling's Main Street. Luling has a Farmer's Market
open all year long, with produce stands where you can find a variety of local
produce, including the famous Luling watermelons.
barbecue in the form of Luling
Bar B Q and City
Market Bar B-Q, is nationally known, featured in various publications,
including Reader's Digest, which picked Luling as the location of the best ribs
In the historic Walker Brothers building you will find the Central
Texas Oil Patch Museum. There are nearly 200 oil well pump jacks in Luling,
decorated as movable art.
Luling is the end point for the Luling
Zedler Mill Paddling Trail. The inland trail is becoming very popular with
San Marcos River kayakers and canoers.
LULING FESTIVALS, SHOWS, EVENTS & THUMPS
The Luling Watermelon Thump takes place the last weekend of
June. The Watermelon Thump is known around the world. For details about this
year's Watermelon Thump go to the Watermelon
Thump website. The Annual Hays-Caldwell Women's Center Auction raises funds
to provide services to victims of domestic violence in Hays and Caldwell County.
For more information go to the HCWC
website. The Reflections
of Texas Art Show celebrates Texas artist and art. At the Davis
Street Quilt Show you will find new and antique quilts displayed in historic
buildings. At the Night
in Old Luling you will experience old-fashioned family entertainment.
Hundreds of rubber ducks race down the San Marcos River in the Great
Luling Rubber Duck Race.
During the holiday season you can visit Santa at the Christmas
Arts & Crafts Show, drive the Yule
Trail viewing more than 100 lighted Christmas signboards and see the giant
antique Santa. During Cocoa
& Carols Luling's shops stay open late for hot cocoa, shopping and
WHERE TO STAY IN LULING
Riverbend RV Park
is located on the banks of the San Marcos River. At 4-D
Guest Ranch you will find a Hunting Lodge and Cabins. Francis
Ainsworth House is a Bed & Breakfast. Luling Inn is a motel. Carefree
Inn is another Luling motel. Best
Western Lockhart Hotel & Suites is in Luling.
WHERE TO EAT IN LULING
Tavern is located on the first floor of the Francis-Ainsworth House. At
Blake's Cafe you'll find burgers, pizza and country cooking. You can probably
guess what type food you will find at China Palace. We have already told you you
can find great barbecue at City
Market Bar B-Q. We have also already mentioned Luling
Bar B Q. You can also find barbecue at Grandma's Bar B-Q. At La Carreta
Restaurant you will find Mexican food, which you will also find at Mr. Taco. The
Coffee Shop is Luling's downtown coffee shop. Of the fast food national chains,
in Luling you will find Subway, Dairy Queen and Pizza Hut.