City lies on the former Chihuahua
Trail,which used to be an Emigrant Road to California, as well as the Comanche War Trail.
Midland was named so because it lies halfway between Fort Worth and El Paso.
Established in 1885, the predominant economic basis was agricultural
until 1923 when the discovery of oil changed that pretty quickly. Midland has a history of
"booms" and 'busts". throughout, this city has grown and developed with
high-rise buildings, strong educational system and a strong dedication to fine arts. The
city also is home to the Midland Rockhounds whom are franchised by the Oakland A's.
Craving sweets? Stop by Susie's
South Forty Confections for tasty Texas Pecan Toffee and other candies. The gift shop is in the Plaza Oaks Shopping Center, corner of Wadley and Garfield Streets. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Tours of the candy factory are available for groups of 20 or more. For information, call (800) 221-4442 or (915) 570-4040.
Commemorative Air Force Flying Museum-
After World War II,a handful of former- service pilots put their
wartime flying experience to use as crop-duster pilots in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. But
when a group of them paid $2,500 for a surplus P-51D
Mustang in 1957, the seed was planted for the growth of the nations finest and most complete collection of flyable
W.W.II combat aircraft. When these dedicated pilots found that
virtually all of the nearly 300,000 aircraft that had been produced during the war had
been destroyed, they vowed to try to preserve at least one of each type so that
future generations would understand and appreciate the importance and accomplishments of
American air power.
The museum remains dedicated to acquisition, restoration and
preservation in flying condition of these vintage military aircraft. CAF maintains an
impressive array of World War II planes of U.S., Britain, Germany and Japan, Major flying
demonstration is the "Airshow" in October.
Approximately 20 of the 137 aircraft in the CAF are on display at
any one time, with different aircraft quarterly. On display could be combat stalwarts such
as P-40 Warhawk, P-38 Lightning, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang, P-39
Aircobra, P-63 King Cobra, P-82 Twin Mustang, F4F Wildcat, F6F hellcat, F8F Bearcat, F4U
Corsair, Gertwan Heinkel HE-111, and Messerschmitt. Other flyable planes include B-24
Liberator, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress, A-26 Invader, B-25 Mitchell, C-47
Skytrain, and several trainers.
Experience the flight of a young Army Air Force cadet learning to
fly in the Entertainment Flight Simulator by combining a laser video disc, audio
technology, motion and wind, which is the very same technology used to train
Contains city's first two fire trucks and other early fire
fighting equipment as well ! Photographs line the walls, and an original collection of
early fire markers are also on exhibit. Sponsored by the Downtown Lions
Midland County Museum-
Exhibits include early Midland history, photos, pioneer
relics, mementos of the War Between the States, World Wars I & 11, Cited Indian
artifacts. Hours vary. Call museum for information.
Anthropologist Dr. Fred Wendorf authenticated the old remains
(calvarium, upper skull) of what is now known as the "Midland Man". This important discovery proves the existence of humans in the Midland, Texas area
some 22,000 years ago!!! Site is located on
Scharbauer Ranch south of city limits. Reproduction of remains on display in Midland
County Museum. (See above.)
Museum of the Southwest Complex-
Art and archaeology collections displayed in this1934 mansion
which is listed on the National Register
of Historic Places. The interior of this house include carved
wooden friezes, hand-painted tile and Italian marble fireplaces. Collections focus on
Southwestern and include works by Taos Society of Artists, Texas regionalists,
photographers, and sculptors. Varying traveling exhibits shown, Septemberfest arts
and crafts fair first weekend following Labor Day each year. Hours vary.
Call museum for information. Closed on major holidays. 1705 W. Missouri. For
Fredda Turner Durham Children's Museum-
(part of the Museum of the Southwest)
Exhibits focusing on Southwestern themes provide children and
families with an interactive environment for exploration and investigation. Exhibits for
children ages 4 - 12; computer area; pre-school play area. Children 12 and under must be
accompanied by an adult. Hours vary. Call museum for information. Admission.
Marion West Blakemore Planetarium
Public sky shows. Group shows by reservation. (Midland schools use
facilities for astronomy classes during the school year.) Gallery area and interactive
video component. Admission. For information and show times, (915)683-2882,
Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library / J. Evetts Haley History
With emphasis on Texas and South western history, this museum,
features the collection and historical research of J. Evetts Haley , whom is the acknowledged dean of range country historians. Among the 10,000 items in this collection are displays , volumes
and papers on all facets of early western life , especially the cowboy and range cattle
industry. Foremost among historical relics is an
original Alamo mission bell, cast in 1722. Open Mon. -
Fri. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m at 1805 W. Indiana.
In a city of fine
parks, four are exceptional: Dennis the Menace Park, Hogan Park,
Chris Davidson Memorial Park, and Centennial Plaza. Dennis the Menace Park is a superb
three-acre duplicate of original in Monterey, California, with bright colors, wading
pools, walks, slides, playhouses and fountains. Hogan Park has picnic areas, playgrounds,
swimming pool, ball diamonds, 27-hole golf course, driving range, and the Sibley Nature
Center and Trail which gives visitors a look at West Texas flora and fauna. Chris Davidson
Memorial Park is one of three parks in the U.S. that is totally accessible to wheelchairs.
Park offers merry-go-rounds, swings, physical fitness courses, basketball and volleyball
courts, and a gazebo. Centennial Plaza is tribute to Midland's 100th anniversary,
dedicated in honor of pioneers who settled here. In center of downtown, it offers
waterfalls, terraced landscaping and seating for outdoor concerts and relaxed picnic
Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Library and Hall of Fame
Although the title may appear ponderous, the museum's variety of
collections, exhibits and interpretation of the oil industry makes it an outstanding
visitor site. To mention only a few highlights: thousand-year-old reed mats and woven
fiber articles from the area's prehistoric population; superb historical paintings; cowboy
tack and early railroad artifacts. About the oil industry, great historic photos of early
boom-town activities; fascinating well-drilling techniques in paintings, models and
hardware; 3-D models of oil drilling strategies; geological AV. shows and the story of oil
formation; there is even an actual oil-well which cores from deep underground. Step back
230 million years and walk 30 feet "under water" in a Permian-age sea. Stand
amid a wrecked drilling rig and experience a simulated wild well blowout. Outside, with
interpretive signs, are early oil-drilling rigs and equipment. There's much more; try your
luck in the "oil game" and plan on several hours to enjoy it all. Open Mon. -
Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sun. 2 - 5 p.m. at 1500 1-20 west, exit 136. Admission.
Blacksmith Johnny Pliska probably built and flew the first airplane
in Texas. Construction began in 1905, just two
years after the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk. It's
uncertain when the plane first flew, but sometime before 1911. Pliska's flying machine can
be viewed daily in the Midland International Airport lobby.
Home of Midland Community Theater (MCT); performances include plays,
dance, and musicals. MCT's "Summer
Mummers", a wild and woolly melodrama, is presented in the historic Yucca Theater
downtown. For information, contact the MCT box office at (915)682-4111. 2000 W. Wadley.
( See Odessa - Midland's Sister City)