A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 29, 2008
City of Stars (Kilgore nickname)

The city of Kilgore in East Texas used to have over 1,000 oil derricks. Today, about 70 oil derricks remain. A star is on the top of each derrick, lit every Christmas. In 2003, the Texas legislature officially named Kilgore “Texas City of Stars.”
Wikipedia: Kilgore, Texas
Kilgore is a city in Gregg and Rusk Counties in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Texas. It is the home of Kilgore College, and was also the childhood home (from age six) of famous classical pianist Van Cliburn. The population was 11,301 at the 2000 census.
Kilgore Chamber of Comerce
City of Stars
Texas Escapes
Oil Boom Town
Texas’ Official “City of Stars”
Gregg County, East Texas
U.S. Hwy 259 and State Hwy 31, 42, & 135
33 miles W of Marshall on Hwy 31
26 miles E of Tyler on Hwy 31
120 miles E of Dallas off I-20
Population: 11,301 (2000) 11,066 (1990)
Kilgore by Bob Bowman
In the 1940s, a drive through Kilgore was unlike any other excursion into East Texas.
More than 1,000 wooden oil derricks—perhaps the most visible evidence of the East Texas oil boom—lined the town’s streets. During the Christmas season, lights were hung on many of the derricks. And one plot of ground was known as “the world’s richest acre.” 
Then, the underground oil pools played out. Kilgore’s oil derricks began to disappear and Kilgore soon looked like any other East Texas community.
Today, steel replicas of the old derricks are back, thanks to the work of the Kilgore Historical Preservation Society. And the Christmas lights are back, too.
Each Christmas, Kilgore lights up its derricks and produces a sample of what the town looked like some sixty years ago. The lights are turned on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and remain lit until after January 1.
Stars top the sixty replica derricks, helping the city maintain its title as the state’s official “City of Stars.” Kilgore is also among the stops on the Holiday Trail of Lights, which includes Marshall and Jefferson in East Texas and Natchitoches and Shreveport in Louisiana.
Texas Legislature
Austin, Texas
October 2, 2003
The President laid before the Senate HCR 6, sponsored by Senator Ratliff, for consideration at this time on its second reading:
HCR 6, Designating Kilgore as the official Texas City of Stars.

The resolution was read second time and was adopted without objection.
Longview (TX) News-Journal
Local: It’s official: Kilgore state’s ‘City of Stars’
Publish Date: November 7, 2003
KILGORE — For a place that always knew it was a city of stars, Kilgore now has the documentation to prove the claim.
House Resolution 6, signed Oct. 28 by Gov. Rick Perry, officially designates Kilgore as the “City of Stars” in Texas. Mike Coston, executive director of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce, says the moniker was something the city had always taken for granted until now.
“Why not have the official designation before someone else…”
Huntsville (TX) Item
Holiday Trail of Lights
Tori Brock
Features Editor
December 05, 2006 07:13 pm
Kilgore — a city of stars
With more oil at one time than anywhere else in the world, Kilgore, Texas was once known as the World’s Richest Acre.
Today, the oil derricks are gone, along with most of the money made during the city’s oil boom.
Kilgore today is a small town, with small town values, but the city is rich with something else — charm.
From the Kilgore Rangerettes, the gridiron’s first precision drill team, to star-topped replica oil derricks, Kilgore has dubbed itself the City of Stars. Christmas is a magical time in Kilgore, according to Chamber of Commerce president Mike Coston.
“You go to any city in America and you’ll see Christmas lights everywhere,” he said, standing underneath one of the city’s 70 oil derricks. “They’re beautiful and they’re fun to see, but in Kilgore, what you’ll see are stars.
“In our retail business, our industry and our residents — they all decorate with stars,” he beamed. “At night, the stars really shine in Kilgore. At one time, we had more than 1,200 oil derricks. We now have more than 70, and they’re all lit with stars for Christmas.”
Christmas stars shine on oil dereks in Kilgore, Texas
Created: March 3, 2007 04:07 PM  
Kilgore, Texas is among six ArkLaTex cities along the Holiday Trail of Lights. What sets this “City of Stars” apart is that it’s the only one with stars set atop of oil dereks.
This year, a huge mound of snow will be erected below the dereks.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, June 29, 2008 • Permalink

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