The above photo is of the Drake Well just outside of Titusville, PA. On August 27, 1859 Edwin Drake along with “Uncle Billy”, William Smith drilled the first oil well and launched the Petroleum industry.
I am working in Oil City, PA 15 miles south of the Drake well and the town where Standard Oil and the Rockefellers started. Oil City is at the confluence of Oil Creek and the Allegheny river. All of the big oil companies have long since moved on but it is obvious that this little town was once a big deal. The archetcture here is unbelieveable. In the downtown area there are marble buildings!
This morning I drove up to the Drake Well museum. The PA State Historical and Museum commission has reconstructed the original well and buildings. I was very impressed. Once the oil boom got started in the 1860’s the folks around here found a way to capture the natual gas that is part of the oil drilling process to run the engines that did the drilling and pumping so the steam engines of the time were quickly replaced.
The three photos above are of the McClintock Well #1. This is the oldest continusely producing oil well on the planet. Apparently I am a history geek because this impressed me to no end. This well is just outside of the city limits of Oil City. It’s not much to look at but there are signs all over the entrance stating that the State of PA is going to fix it up. I have been very impressed at all this history in this area. I’m amazed that they don’t market this area better.
I had a very fun day exploring the historical places in this area. I tried to go to the National Transit Building in downtown Oil City today but it was closed. I’ll do that on Monday after work. The National Transit Building was Standard Oils first headquarters.
On a different note, last night there was a concert on the bank of the Allegheny river. The band was GREAT!!! They are called Big Leg Emma. Check them out.