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Odessa, Texas

Odessa, Texas was established in 1881 as a stop on the Texas and Pacific Railroads. It has been said that Odessa's name originated from and area that resembled our region around the Russian city in Ukraine named Odessa . The unsurpassed beauty of the West Texas sunsets and a climate that is warm and inviting make this uncommon city a true paradise. Odessa is also well known for its hospitality, and people with deep appreciation of colorful past and enthusiasm for a future rich with possibilities. Odessa is a city where cowboys, culture, oil and everything in between bring visitors a flavor so delicious it can only be described as "A City of Contrasts."

Odessa is located in Ector County, approximately midway between Ft. worth and El Paso, covering an area of 35.04 square miles. This area is called the Permian Basin . The Permian Basin is approximately 250 mile wide and 300 miles long. The basin was formed during the Permian Period, the final portion of the Paleozoic Era approximately 280 million years ago. A shallow sea, known as the Permian Sea, which was densely populated with life, once covered the Permian Basin. As the ocean dried up, the decaying plants and animals eventually helped form the gigantic pools of oil and gas that are still being taken from the basin. Three of the state’s major land resources meet here- the High Plains, Trans Pecos and Edward’s Plateau.

Located in a region where the Comanche Indians once roamed, Odessa ’s history as a settlement can be traced to the 1881 extension of the Texas and Pacific Railway across the south plains and the need to provide water for the steam engines. The availability of cheap land encouraged settlers to the area from 1879 to 1885. The first ranchers arrived in 1885, but it was the railroad that made Odessa vital to the cattle industry. By the mid 1890’s Odessa was an established cattle shipping center.

When oil was discovered in 1926, the destiny of the community took a different course. This discovery brought people of varied interests and occupations to the area, and the local economy began to change from a ranching base into an industrial one.

Today, Odessa is alive and thriving, although oil and gas still remain our largest industry the city has begun to diversify. Odessa is quickly being recognized as a major health industry hub with three hospitals, a cancer center and several medical specialists in the area.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

The Globe Theatre

A bit of Elizabethan England comes to life during the Odessa Shakespeare Festival at The Globe Theatre of the Great Southwest, Shakespearean Library & Anne Hathaway Cottage, modeled after Shakespeare'

Odessa, TX Theatres

Pecos Depot

This landmark depot was purchased from the Panhandle- Santa Fe Railway in 1972. Built in 1892 it served as a railway terminal until 1950. It was then moved to Odessa and next to the historical Barn Door Restaurant in 1972

Odessa, TX Railroad History

Ratliff Ranch Golf Links

Odessa's 18 hole, municipal course is open to the public on a daily-fee basis.

Odessa, TX Golf Courses

Ellen Noel Art Museum

The Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin is an independent art museum located on the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. The museum features rotating exhibitions of historical and contemporary art, a permanent sculpture/

Odessa, TX Museums

Parker House Museum

The Parker House Museum is Odessa's newest addition to the historical records of Odessa. In 1935, the Parker family moved into this modest house located on 1,290 acres. It represents the lifestyle of a prominent ranching family, who served the communities of Andrews and Ector counties since 1907

Odessa, TX Museums

Things to do near Odessa, TX

White-Pool House Museum

Built in 1887, the White-Pool House Museum is the oldest structure of importance in Odessa, Texas. Built by Charles and Lucy ...

El Paso Museum of Art

Multimillion-dollar Kress Collection and Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington; frequent exhibits of classical and con...

Pliska Airplane

John V. Pliska, born in Tyne, Austria, came to Texas with his parents in 1897 and settled in Flatonia. In 1903 he started on ...

Monahans Sandhills Visitor Center

The Dunagan Visitor Center at Monahans Sandhills State Park features hands-on exhibits of the cultural and natural history of...