Sour Lake is a city in Hardin County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,667 at the 2000 census. It was originally named Sour Lake Springs, after the mineral-laden spring water that flowed into the nearby lake. The city is part of the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Sam Houston visited the " Sour Lake" in his later years. The lovely little town is also home to one of the biggest sinkholes in Texas. Sour Lake is the oldest surviving town in Hardin County, first settled around 1835, when Stephen Jackson received 4,428 acres (17.92 km) at the site. It is called by some the "Gateway to the Big Thicket". Sour Lake became a short-lived boomtown with the discovery of oil in 1901, shortly after oil was found at the nearby Spindletop salt dome. It is known as the birthplace of Texaco. Formed in 1903, the Texas Company (Texaco's corporate name) is one of the three major oil companies that can trace its origins to the oil fields around Southeast Texas. The Sour Lake oilfield produced about 90,000,000 barrels of oil up to 1948, when it was producing about 3,500 barrels daily and new drilling was still underway. Today the Sour Lake oilfield is the oldest continuously-producing oil field in the world.