Introduction to Oil City, Pennsylvania

Oil City, Pennsylvania, in Venango county, is 51 miles SE of Erie, Pennsylvania (center to center) and 70 miles N of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Oil City History

The area was settled by the Seneca Nation of Indians in the early 17th century, and Chief Cornplanter was given a land grant by the State of Pennsylvania in the late 1700s. A blast furnace was built in 1818, but it was closed in the 1850s, resulting in a population decline. On August 28, 1859, the area's first commercial oil well was drilled by Colonel Edwin L. Drake, which is the reason why the community was named "Oil City." It was officially founded in 1860, and incorporated as a borough in 1868. A charter for the city was passed in 1871, and Oil City received formal city status in 1871. The oil wells played a major role in the city's economy, and Oil City developed into a prosperous community by the late 19th century.

Oil City and Nearby Attractions

  • Drake Well Museum
  • Old Economy Historical Site
  • Wilder Museum
  • Erie Zoo
  • Waldameer Park & Water World
  • Oil Creek State Park

Things To Do In Oil City

The Wilder Museum features exhibits on 20 local themes including the one-handed clock, and the Seneca Indians. Drake Well Museum marks the area where the world's first oil well was drilled by Edwin L. Drake in 1859. Old Economy Historical Site, and National McKinley Birthplace Memorial are places of historic interest in the region. The 7,075-acre Oil Creek State Park, which preserves the history of the oil boom in Pennsylvania, offers facilities for fishing, hiking, biking, and picnicking. Opportunities to play golf are available at the Lucky Hills Golf Course & Driving Range, and Whitetail Run Golf Course. Waldameer Park & Water World, and Erie Zoo are other popular attractions in the area.

Oil City Transportation

Erie International Airport is the closest major airport.

Oil City Higher Education

Oil City is home to the Clarion University of Pennsylvania-Venango Campus. Other colleges nearby include the Grove City College, and University of Pittsburgh - Titusville.


Total Population 10,296
Male Share of the Population 49%
Female Share of the Population 51%
Senior Citizens 15.2%
Employed Population 16+ 4,122
Age of the Population 38


% of people married 39%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 14.7%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0


Median Family Income $40,194
% Above Poverty Level 73.8%
% Below Poverty Level 26.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 21 minutes
% Working from Home 2.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 5.5%
% Using Public Transportation 0.6%


People Living Alone 35.8%
Median Gross Rent $546
Median House Value $47,700


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 10.6%
US/American 0%
English 8.7%
Irish 18.9%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Oil City Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 51 miles SE of Erie, Pennsylvania (center to center)
Nearest Large City 70 miles N of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
County Venango
Standard Zip Codes 16301
Phone Area Codes 814
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.433
Longitude -79.706

Oil City Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 6.7 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 35 F
Apr Temp 34 to 60 F
Jul Temp 58 to 84 F
Oct Temp 39 to 62 F
Annual Precip 43.8 inches
Distance 13.8 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 32 F
Apr Temp 32 to 56 F
Jul Temp 56 to 81 F
Oct Temp 36 to 61 F
Annual Precip 44.5 inches
Station CLARION 3 SW
Distance 21.5 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 33 F
Apr Temp 31 to 60 F
Jul Temp 55 to 83 F
Oct Temp 36 to 62 F
Annual Precip 46.7 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Oil City, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Oil Creek (16301)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Cooperstown 519 $55,536
Franklin 6,401 $48,892

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Oil City Public Libraries

Oil City Library
Oil City, Pennsylvania
(814) 678-3071

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Oil City High Schools

Serves 860 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.9

Additional Details
Oil City Colleges
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