Abilene Area Guide - General Information


With its history of cattle and railroads and of oil, Abilene brings to the 21st century the legacy that will carry it to the future. Abilene is a city whose heritage and civic pride shines through with events such as the Western Heritage Classic every May. A three day weekend event, it focuses on the western lifestyle and the values of a working ranch with the highlight features 11 historic ranches in the area. 

Family oriented and business as well as agricultural background makes Abilene a great place to start or continue a career, raise a family or settle down for those retirement years. Come give us a look and we know you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t get here sooner! 

For more information, visit: http://www.abilenetx.com/About/ 

History


The Texas and Pacific Railway and cattlemen in the area established it as a stock shipping point in 1881, naming whistle stop after Abilene, Kansas, bypassing the (at the time) county seat in Buffalo Gap. Although not an official town, around 800 settlers had been camping out in the area to be near the railroads and by the time Col. J. S. Johnson laid out the area and the auction for lots began, Abilene was already beginning to form a town. 

Abilene was incorporated in 1882 and decided to stake their claim to the county seat, winning the election in a three to one vote. By 1888, the Progressive Committee was created to attract businesses to the area, later becoming the Board of Trade. By 1900 over 3,000 people called Abilene home and the B.O.T. decided to change its name to the 25,000 Club, setting a goal of reaching a population of 25,000 by the next census in 1910. They didn’t make their goal though and the B.O.T. eventually became the modern day Abilene Chamber of Commerce in 1914. The first of three future universities laid its cornerstone in 1891 for Simmons College and the tradition continues, with Abilene succeeding in bringing Cisco Junior College and Texas State Technical College branches. 

In 1940, Abilene purchased land for a U.S. Army base, Camp Barkeley, which at the time was twice the size of Abilene with 60,000 men. And although when Camp Barkeley closed, the town fathers feared that Abilene would become a ghost town, when WWII was over, many of the servicemen who had been stationed at Camp Barkeley returned to start businesses and raise families. By the early 1950’s residents had raised enough money to buy over 3,000 acres for an Air Force base, becoming Dyess AFB, as well as the city’s biggest employer. 

Schools, zoos and the Taylor County Coliseum as well as improvements to the Abilene Regional Airport. In 1982, Abilene became the first city in Texas to create a downtown reinvestment zone with the Grace Museum and Paramount Theatre revitalizations sparking a decade of downtown restoration. Today, the commercial and residential development continues and Abilene continues to grow and change and improve with the times. 

To learn more, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abilene,_Texas 

 

Attractions & Activities


City of Abilene Zoological Gardens 

Animal exhibits surrounded by native Texas plants shine in this zoo with more than 500 animals representing 160 species, offering a close up view of the beautiful animals that grace our world. For more information, visit:http://www.abilenezoo.org/ 





Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra
 
Celebrating 60 years of great performances Abilene Philharmonic invites you to join in the celebration and enjoy the beautiful music they make. For more information, visit: http://www.abilenephilharmonic.org/ 

 




 

Prime Time Family Entertainment Center 

Bowling, miniature golf and go carts are just some of the fun things to be found here, so pack up the family and come have a great time with them! For more information, visit:http://www.primetimeabilene.com/default.htm 

For a complete listing of things to do and see in Abilene, visit:http://www.abilenetx.com/About/links.htm#Attractions 

 

 

Parks & Recreation



Mission The Parks Division performs landscape management and development services within the parks and other City properties, providing varied, safe, attractive, and modern places for public recreation and a cleaner, more beautiful city. 

For a complete listing of parks and their amenities, please visit:http://www.abilenetx.com/Parks/index.htm 

 

Events Calendar


Annual Big Country Balloon Festival Have a great weekend of family fun including hot air balloons, games, food and crafts! For more information, visit: http://www.abilenevisitors.com/16th-Annual-Big-Country-Balloon-Fest 

Annual West Texas Book and Music Festival Sponsored by Friends of the Abilene Public Library, writing and publishing workshops, awards and sessions with authors are offered. 

To learn more, visit: http://www.abilenevisitors.com/10th-Annual-West-Texas-Book-and-Music-Festival 


For a complete list of all the events in and around Abilene, visit: http://www.abilenevisitors.com


Rhonda Hatchett
Rhonda Hatchett
REALTOR®