Odessa (population 90,943) is the county seat of Ector County and a major center for the oil and gas industry. Platted in 1886 along the Texas and Pacific Railroad, the community initially prospered as a cattle-shipping center before oil was discovered in 1926. Odessa was incorporated a year later, and the community commemorated its 75th anniversary in 2002 with a month-long celebration of its heritage.
The city has been working to revitalize its historic downtown through implementation of a façade grant program, streetscape improvements, and other initiatives through its Main Street program. Two notable historic museum properties are the Parker House Ranching Museum (1935), and the community's oldest remaining structure, the White-Pool House (1887).
Odessa is also home to the Presidential Museum and Library, a museum and research center on the American presidency. Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush lived for periods in Odessa, and the Presidential Museum owns two of their homes.
Odessa promotes heritage tourism for its museums and other historic properties through participation in the initiatives of the Texas Historical Commission's Pecos Heritage Trail Region.
Designated a Preserve America Community in May 2004.