Sour Lake is the oldest town in Hardin County, located at the intersection of state highways 105 and 326, and first established when Stephen Jackson was granted 4,428 acres. It was originally called “Sour Lake Springs” for the mineral springs that fed the nearby lake. Indians had long been making use of the mineral waters, and by 1850 Sour Lake boasted a hotel and reputation for being a health resort. Early entrepreneurs even bottled the water and sold it. Sam Houston was a frequent visitor!
Sour Lake became a boomtown with the discovery of oil in 1901. It is known as the birthplace of Texaco, as the Texas Company (Texaco’s former corporate name) is one of three major oil companies that can trace its origins to the oilfields here. By 1948, the Sour Lake oilfield had produced about 90,000,000 barrels of oil. Today the Sour Lake oilfield is the oldest continuously-producing oilfield in the world! Sour Lake is also home to the highly sought after Hardin-Jefferson Independent School District, which serves parts of both Hardin and Jefferson Counties. Exciting improvements are in the works, including plans for new neighborhood additions, an improved city park (complete with restrooms, covered pavilion and coming soon - a splash pad!), and new businesses making Sour Lake their home.