Civil War Frying Pan at Drake Well Museum

The Reverend Darius S. Steadman (1831–1907), born in Columbus, Warren County, along U.S. Route 6 in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, was licensed to preach in 1857. He served congregations in Clarion County before being commissioned, on October 7, 1861, a captain and chaplain of the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (PVI) known as the Wild Cat Regiment. The unit was raised in Jefferson, Clarion...
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McClintock Well No. 1 at Drake Well Museum

McClintock Well Number 1 – the world’s oldest continuously producing oil well – was recently acquired by the Drake Well Museum in Titusville, Venango County. Drilled near Oil Creek in August 1861, the well produced fifty barrels of oil a day. The Quaker State Oil Corporation purchased the McClintock Well in 1952 and nominated it for the nearby state historical marker four years...
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Survival of an American Boom Town

No stirring debates reverberate through the chambers of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall; white-hot molten steel no longer pours out of the fiery cauldrons in the sprawling mills of Pittsburgh and Bethlehem; and little coal ripped from the earth by giant steam shovels in Carbon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, and Lackawanna Counties in the Keystone State’s anthracite region. As surprising as...
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Barbara T. Zolli on “A Drop of Oil”

Crude oil, found in abundance in northwestern Pennsylvania, held out many possibilities by the mid-nineteenth century. It burned when ignited, served as a practical lubricant, was thought to have medicinal properties, and had been used for various purposes by generations of Native Americans. That it might be in ample supply became apparent to many locals when it oozed from the ground and...
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Oldest Producing Oil Well

Commercial petroleum production began in 1859 with Edwin L. Drake’s well at Titusville, Venango County, but the well failed after only two years of operation. In McClintock, two miles north of Oil City, however, the world’s oldest producing well continues to yield oil. The McClintock Number 1 in Cornplanter Township began pumping crude in 1861, the same year the Drake Well went dry....
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Sampling a Taste of the Past Along the Pennsylvania Trails of History

One of the best ways to experience the Keystone State’s history and heritage is to travel the Pennsylvania Trails of History®, a network of two dozen exciting historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), the Commonwealth’s official history agency. PHMC has organized its popular destinations into four main trails – Military...
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