Hill Country
2010 Census - 2,936
2000 Census - 2,885
Big Lake, Texas
Big Lake Texas History:
The town derives its name from the original spring fed Big Lake located 1.5 miles southwest of the town. Years ago the lake was the only known fresh water between the Concho River and the springs at Fort Stockton. In 1905, the Coates family settled on the west side of the lake, and the Taylor family settled on the east side of the lake. At this time the lake held spring water. The springs are now dry and the lake only has water after heavy rains. In 1911 T. H. Taylor sold 320 acres of land to the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway for a townsite and station. The town was platted and a stock pen was built to hold cattle for railroad shipment. A box car housed the depot. A hotel, general mercantile store, a grocery, and a telephone line from Stiles were established. In 1915 the railroad arrived and a post office was established. The Santa Rita No. 1 came in on May 28, 1923 on land owned by the University of Texas. The town incorporated shortly thereafter. In 1926 Big Lake was elected county seat over Stiles, the now former county seat. Big Lake became, and continues to be a supply point for the oil and gas industries. Farming is also an important industry and pecan trees are common in the area. The movie “The Rookie,” the true life story of baseball pitcher Jimmy Morris was filmed in the town. Big Lake is located at the intersection of U.S. 67 (2nd Street) and SH 137, 93 miles southeast of Odessa, 48 miles south of Garden City, 70 miles southwest of Sterling City, 70 miles southwest of San Angelo, 42 miles slightly southwest of Mertzon, 67 miles northwest of Eldorado, 43 miles northwest of Ozona, 67 miles northeast of Sheffield, 48.5 miles northeast of Iraan, and 29 miles east of Rankin, Texas.    
Reagan County AgriLife Extension Office:
The Texas A & M AgriLife Extension offices are responsible for 4-H and youth programs, agriculture and natural programs, family and consumer science, and community development. They also have hunting information. They manage head start, senior citizen, home economics, agriculture, 4-H and other programs. If your tomatoes have blight, contact them. If you need to know something regarding a small town, contact them.(325) 884-2335. Email
Historic Santa Rita #1 “Patron Saint of the Impossible” & Replica:
The well was spudded shortly before midnight on August 17, 1921 on the last day before the 18-month drilling permit was to expire. The Santa Rita No. 1 came in on May 28, 1923 on land owned by the University of Texas. It was the first major discovery of oil in the West Texas Permian Basin oil field; it made the University one of the richest Universities in the country. The well was named after the patron saint of the impossible. A replica of the well is located in RC Park in Big Lake. The actual well is located near the ghost town of Texon, the former company town built for employees of the Big Lake Oil Company. The well is located approximately 13.5 miles west of town on U.S. 67.  The town of Texon was located 0.3 miles south of U.S. 67.   
Reagan County Courthouse, 1926:  
In 1925 the county seat moved from Stiles to Big Lake. The brick courthouse was designed in Texas Renaissance style by courthouse architect David S. Castle. The 2010 Reagan County census was 3,367.(325) 884-2442. 300 Plaza Street.
Regan County Courthouse, 1911, Stiles, TX:
This courthouse is located in Stiles, the former Reagan County seat, located approximately 11 miles northwest of Big Lake. On Christmas Eve in 1999 the courthouse was gutted by an arsonist’s fire.  
Hickman Museum:  
The museum is located in the former Gracie Hickman house which the City of Big Lake inherited from the estate of Hickman in 1984. The museum features exhibits depicting the history of Big Lake, including arrowheads, period clothing, vintage furniture, kitchen equipment and tools, farming and ranching implements, a telephone switchboard, oil and family histories, businesses and area schools. The museum also serves as a visitor information center. Tours are available on Wed, 3pm-5pm, and by appointment. (325) 884-2980. (325) 884-2082. 609 Main Street.
Reagan County Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Mon, Wed, 8:30am-5pm; Tue & Thu, 8:30am-7pm; Fri, 8:30am-4pm. (325) 884-2854. 300 Courthouse Square.
Annual Outdoor Summer Movie, 4th of July Holiday, July:
This movie is shown at 9:30 pm at Reagan County Park. Admission is $3 for those over age 4; snacks are sold. This event is sponsored by the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce. (325) 884-2980. Email 
Annual Santa Rita Days, Mid-Sept:
This festival celebrates the Santa Rita oil well coming into production. Activities include food vendors, flea market vendors, kids’ entertainment, a women’s softball tournament, a DJ during the day, VFW bingo, arts and crafts, and live music and a dance. This event is held at the Reagan County Community Building at 12th and Montana Streets. (325) 884-2980. Email 
Annual Reagan County Wild Game Supper, Last Saturday in Nov:
This event is held at the Reagan County Community building beginning at 5pm. Prizes include Cabela’s gift cards and over 60 guns and high value prizes. (325) 884-2511. (325) 884-2980. Email
Annual Lighted Christmas Parade & Christmas Downtown, Dec:
Prize money is given for three parade categories. Downtown activities include vendors and entertainment. 
Grandma’s Kitchen:
They serve good hamburgers, a great chicken fried steak, and a lunch buffet.(325) 884-2853. 404 East 2nd Street (U.S. 67). Reviews
Reagan County Park & Community Building:
Amenities include 75 RV sites with electric and water hookups, 6 primitive tent campsites, a dump station, restrooms, picnic tables with BBQ grills, a swimming pool, biking trails, a playground, tennis and volley ball courts, a softball field and group meeting facilities. A store and laundry is located nearby. The Reagan Chamber of Commerce sponsors an annual movie in the park during the 4th of July holiday.  (325) 884-2980.((325) 884-2511. The park is located at 12th and Montana Streets.
Big Lake:
The lake is most often dry. The lake holds water temporarily and only after high runoff rain events, being used for grazing the remainder of the time. The lake is located three miles southwest of the City of Big Lake. Fish Stocking History
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updates on Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903. Calendar
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program, and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened up, and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences. 
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
Hunter Education
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations