Introduction to Oil City, 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.