An Eventful Year

The City of Oil City celebrated its sesquicentennial with much fanfare in 2021.

The 150th anniversary revelry, chaired by Mayor Bill Moon and his wife Robin, included parades, time capsule installation, concerts, speeches, BridgeFest, souvenirs and much more.

Snapshots of those 2021 events, plus a number of old postcards that promote Oil City, are included in this Hidden Heritage.

Oil City Mayor Bill Moon (far right) is shown with former mayors Joe Womer, Howard Gierling, Sonja Hawkins, Barb Crudo and Malachy McMahon during the Oil City 150 kickoff April 11 in Justus Park. (Photo by Becki Anderson)
Items from the 1971 time capsule are displayed. (Photo by Becki Anderson)
Jessica Struthers and Natalie Cubbon, co-chairmen for the Oil City Library’s Festival of the Book, are shown with featured authors Corey McCullough and Charlie Cotherman.
The Oil City Library marked its 150th anniversary in 2021. The group gathered on the steps during the library’s Festival of the Book.
The Oil City Library sponsored a popular Touch-A-Truck for kids last summer in the Central Avenue Plaza.
The Holey Jeans musical group, led by Martha Heise, performed at the October event marking the burial of Oil City’s 150th anniversary time capsule in Hasson Park.
Mayor Bill Moon shows off the Oil City 150 historic panel at a ceremony in October at Hasson Park. The panel was designed and funded by the Oil City Heritage Society.
The Oil City Heritage Society created a panel to recognize Hasson Park's 125th anniversary. It was dedicated at the park on June 5th, 2021.
A restored Reid gas engine was dedicated during an October event as part of Oil City’s 150th anniversary celebration. It is located at the PennDOT building on Elm Street.
The nine Oil Heritage Festival queen candidates were honored during the city’s annual summer celebration. The queen was Emily Coxson (top row, far right).
Oil City councilmen Michael Poff, Isaiah Dunham, Ron Gustafson and Mike Walentosky join Mayor Bill Moon in installing the city’s 150th anniversary time capsule.
The 2021 Oil Heritage Festival featured a youth pool party at the city swimming pool. (Photo by Kelly Malek)
The Oiler Marching Band leads off the city’s Oil Heritage Festival parade. (Photo by Kelly Malek)
Oil City’s community band – Mostly Brass – was a featured entry in the city’s Oil Heritage Festival parade. (Photo by Kelly Malek)
Many of the Oil Heritage Festival parade entries reflected the city’s 150th anniversary. (Photo by Kelly Malek)
Entertainers open the inaugural Oil City 150th anniversary celebration in Justus Park on April 11. (Photo by Kelly Malek)
A number of fireworks displays highlighted Oil City’s sesquicentennial celebration.

Oil City’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2021 featured a variety of events, commemoration of several historic occasions and widespread civic participation. The year-long observance was chaired by Bill and Robin Moon, owners of Gates & Burns Realty. Bill Moon is in his second term as Oil City Mayor.

“We couldn’t have done it without all the help, particularly the support provided by Kelly Amos Ryen and Becki Anderson at city hall,” said Robin.

Hidden Heritage offers stellar kudos to the Moons for a job well done and much appreciated.

Robin & Bill Moon at the WQLN-PBS event showcasing the “Oil City – Our Town” program in Erie.

In celebrating Oil City’s milestone anniversary, the community was asked to contemplate its future.

The city is wonderful, replete with lovely residents who work hard on behalf of their community. We have much to offer.

The challenge, for those who grew up here, those who relocated here and those who are considering a move here, is to join in a community-wide effort to preserve what we can, to envision what might be and to work to make it better and stronger.

If earlier generations can leave a legacy, so can we as we begin our journey to our next sesquicentennial.

The sun sets over the Allegheny River at Oil City after a full year of sesquicentennial celebration. (Photo by Kelly Malek)

Written by Judy Etzel with research by Kay Dawson and design by Natalie Cubbon.


YWCA of Oil City

Michael Schneider

Mary Ann & Jim Brown

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