What You Didn’t Know About Sweetwater, Texas
When barreling east or west on Interstate 20 in Texas, you'll inevitably come to a small town called Sweetwater. With a population of 10,626 as of 2019, Sweetwater is the seat of Nolan County and sits at a juncture in the West Texas Plains. (For reference it's 236 miles southeast of Amarillo, 181 miles west of Fort Worth, and 40 miles outside of Abilene.)
For Sweetwater locals or folks born and raised in the Big Country, most of what's on this list won't surprise you. For the rest of us, here's a list of odd and unusual things you didn't know about Sweetwater, Texas — where "Life is Sweet in Texas".
The name literally means "sweet water."
"Sweetwater" is the English translation of the word "mobeetie," which native Kiowa people use to reference the area. (This is not to be confused with the town named Mobeetie in the Texas Panhandle to the north.)
The first female pilots in the U.S. military trained in Sweetwater.
The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), the first women to fly American military aircraft, trained at Avenger Field in Sweetwater during World War II. The National WASP WWII Museum occupies a hangar at that same field.
You can read about more interesting museums in West Texas here.
It's the home of the largest rattlesnake roundup in the world.
The Sweetwater Jaycees Annual Rattlesnake Roundup has taken place every year in mid-March since 1958. It attracts around 30,000 people and includes professional snake-handling demonstrations, a trade show and vendor booths, food stalls, wildlife education activities, and more.
It's also the birthplace of a professional wrestling legend.
WWE Legend John Layfield (ring names JBL or Bradshaw) was born in Sweetwater and played college football at Abilene Christian University.
You can read more about other athletes from the Big Country area who went pro here.
And you can read more about famous folks you didn't know were ACU alumni here.
Supposedly, Sweetwater has a Quidditch team.
Be on the lookout for flying broomsticks! According to Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling (a 2001 book that tells the fictional history of the fictional sport Quidditch, which is part of Rowling’s Harry Potter universe), there is an American Quidditch team based out of Sweetwater. Of course, the existence of the Sweetwater All-Stars has yet to be confirmed by us Muggles.