The single most important event in the history of Freer, Texas (ever) occurred in 1928 when oil was discovered on the W. P. Norton property just outside of town. That discovery turned out to be the nation’s largest oil reserve of the time. The discovery of oil soon turned Freer into a boom-town after Life magazine published an article calling it “the last of the tough frontier oil towns.” In the early 50’s several major oil companies started moving into the Freer area though most have long since moved on. One of the last holdouts is the Valero Corporation who still maintains not 1 but 2 convenience stores at the intersection of US59 and SH16.
The population of Freer has experienced a steady decline in recent years but there’s one time of the year when the population of Freer triples in size. Even with the increase in population of visitors this weekend the population of rattlesnakes will out-populate the residents and visitors combined. This is due in large part to Jackie Bibby and the stars of Rattlesnake Republic when in April of every year they bring their incredible show to town. Jackie has been a major part of the Freer Rattlesnake Roundup for many years and this year is no exception. He’s been performing with rattlesnakes for over 40 years, has appeared on all the major TV talk shows and has traveled around the world giving educational seminars. Not many people can claim to hold even one world record but Jackie Bibby is the holder of five official Guinness World Records. If you’re like me and enjoy “day-tripping” to out of the way and obscure places, take a look at this video promoting the 50th Annual Freer Rattlesnake Round-Up and see why a visit this weekend is well worth your time.