‘Boomtown’ gets new mayor

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Since moving to the area, Olivia Moore’s eagerly led visiting family members on tours of East Texas Oil Museum and ‘Boomtown.’

Today, it’s her job.

Moore took the reins of the Kilgore College attraction March 1, and she’s steadily getting acclimated to the post. She’s not so comfortable yet that she’ll willingly walked around the Boomtown diorama with the lights off, but the Tatum resident’s exactly where she wants to be.

“As a child, my mom took me to just about every museum under the sun,” Moore said Tuesday. “I was one of the few kids to graduate having been to 37 other states.

“You learn to love history or you buck it. I learned to love it.”

It’s a love she’s eager to pass on to others, and when the manager’s position opened at the oil museum, she leapt at the opportunity.

An Ohio native, it was in Michigan Moore met her husband, an East Texas native. She was in the midst of 11 years working with Kellogg when they moved to the Lone Star State and, in 2011, she joined him in the antiques and collectibles business – until the ETOM post opened up.

“It comes back to: ‘I gotta be a part of this.’ It’s amazing what’s been done here,” Moore said. “A small museum, you have certain expectations, and this blows them out of the water. You get the history, and you get the feel for it when you walk through this door and you’re transported to Kilgore in the 1930s.

“Every day I come in, I see something new, I find something new, I look at something new.”

The paint’s still fresh in the newly-renovated facility, and that’s just the completion of Phase One of four, she noted. The museum’s theater is on tap for re-development in the fall, with more work to follow.

“We’ll just continue with the plans that were in place, and I’ll probably put my own spin on it,” Moore said. Whatever it takes to bring more visitors, young and old, through the door: “If you can catch a kid young and put that spark of history, I think it’s going to be a better world.”

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