1. What are the boundaries of the Oil Region National Heritage Area?
Because this federally designated and official Commonwealth of Pennsylvania heritage area emphasizes the world’s first oil boom (the ‘oil fever’ era from 1859 through the 1870s), its 708 square miles include all of Venango County and the eastern tip of Crawford County in rural northwestern Pennsylvania. Key communities today include Titusville, Rouseville, Oil City, Franklin, Emlenton, Cranberry, and Barkeyville. This territory also includes the former oil boomtowns of Pithole, Red Hot, Shamburg, Pearl, Bullion, Petroleum Centre, and Columbia Farm, many of which are now contained in Oil Creek State Park.
2. What kinds of activities are offered in the Oil Region National Heritage Area?
Recreational enthusiasts are pleasantly surprised to find excellent water quality and lush hillsides where oil derricks once stood; warmwater and coolwater angling are excellent; bird waters appreciate the migrating warblers and bald eagles; hunters experience waterfowl, small game, and all of Pennsylvania’s big game opportunities; kayakers, canoeists, jetboaters, and water skiers have ample waterways suited to their diverse tastes; geocachers and hikers will especially enjoy the challenging terrain. Meanwhile, heritage visitors seek out Drake Well Museum and other area museums with distinctive collections of not only petroleum and gas artifacts, but also collections of life’s pleasures purchased with earlier oil fortunes, such as mechanized musical instruments, antique cars, and of course the beautifully maintained historic districts full of every style of Victorian architecture. Live musical performances, festivals, dramatic productions, art demonstrations and exhibits add to the cultural tapestry. See www.victorianregion.com.
3. How do I get around within the Oil Region National Heritage Area?
Most guests drive their own vehicles within this 708-square mile region which stretches from Titusville (birthplace of the world’s petroleum industry) downstream to Emlenton; escort guides are available by special advance arrangements.
4. How can I get involved in what’s happening in the Oil Region National Heritage Area?
To request a free electronic newsletter (“The Gusher”) or become a member of the Oil Region Alliance, please see www.oilregion.org. Volunteers are always welcome; firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your interests.
“Oil 150” offers a unique opportunity to participate anywhere in North America with the coordinated events, traveling exhibits, installation of many new historic markers, and other commemorative activities; of course, OIL 150 mementoes are also available, via www.OIL150.com.
5. How do I learn more?
6. Is oil still produced in the Oil Region National Heritage Area?
Yes, with most of the green-tinted crude petroleum being pumped from ‘stripper wells,’ meaning they yield less than 10 barrels of oil per day of operation. But, that adds up; in fact, one-third of the total US production of oil comes from stripper wells in the numerous states like Pennsylvania with active petroleum wells.