Photos of Monahans, TX


The Million Barrel Museum

400 Museum Blvd
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday     10:00am to 6:00 pm
Closed Sunday and Monday  
Phone: (432) 943-8401
In 1928 West Texas was in the middle of an oil boom.  Shell Oil Company had an idea to build one big barrel to hold all of the oil.  The tank covers eight acres of land, is 35 feet deep and paved with cement.  But cement has its load limits and a million barrels of crude oil weights 315 million pounds.  The barrel cracked and the oil ran into the ground.
Thirty years later, Wayne Long bought the barrel.  He sealed the cracks, filled it with water and named it "Melody Park".  The park was to be a West Texas Oasis for boating, fishing, swimming and water-skiing.  The park was open for one day, October 6, 1958.  The barrel was no better at holding water than it was oil.
After Mr. Long passed away his widow gave the barrel and its surrounding land to the Ward County Historical Commission.  The Million Barrel Museum was opened in 1987.  The Historical Commission has moved other attractions onto the property such as Monahans' first jail and the Monahans Hotel.  The small museum includes an exhibit of the restored mail cart of "Domino" Cleveland Brockman, a collection of Coca Cola memorabilia, oil field equipment and farming tools.  A windmill and a school house have also been moved to the grounds along with an old train car contains a mirrored "endless" stretch of railroad tracks.  An amphitheater has been constructed in one corner of the tank to be used for concerts and other special events.  The newest exhibit is The Rattlesnake Bomber Base Museum where you can learn about the Pyote Army Airfield which trained B17 and B29 crews.

Monahans Sandhills State Park

2500 Interstate 20
Hours: Open 7 days a week   Gate closes at 10:00pm
Phone: (432) 943-2092

Five miles east of Monahans is the Monahans Sandhills State Park.  The park consists of 4,000 acres of sand dunes that greatly resemble the Sahara Desert and can reach a height of 70 feet.  The Dunagan Visitor Center features hands-on exhibits.  Activities include camping, hiking, picnicking and sandsurfing.  The park is also home to one of the most interesting arboreal oddities in the United States, a miniature Harvard Oak forest occupying 40,000 acres which makes it one of the largest oak forests in the U.S.

Other Monahans Attractions:

  • Freedom Fair
  • Green Thumb Show
  • Pie Auction
  • Mild to Wild Salsa Festival
  • AQHA Quarter horse show
  • Wickett Bluegrass Festival
  • Butterfield Overland Stagecoach & Wagon Festival
  • Various livestock shows and rodeos

Nearby Attractions: 

  • Odessa's Meteorite Crater and Exhibition Museum
  • Pecos, Texas and the West of the Pecos Museum
  • Early frontier army posts at Fort Stockton and Fort Davis
  • Big Bend National Park and Balmorhea State Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Alpine, Texas with its many art galleries and family owned gift and curio shops
  • The University of Texas McDonald Observatory
  • The Ghost Lights of Marfa, Texas
  • Numerous desert and mountain nature drives or hiking tours
  • Nearby Midland is home to many athletic parks, shopping centers and the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum and Library
  • Odessa also offers art centers and museums such as the Presidential Museum.
Monahans, TX