Music, Literature and Faith

Music, Literature and Faith

The 2021 year was a time to celebrate several anniversaries of well-known institutions in Oil City, a city that was itself marking its 150th anniversary of incorporation. The anniversaries called attention to the longevity of music, literature and faith. Here are four of those anniversaries: Oil City Library The Oil City Library, launched informally by local citizens as the Petroleum Institute in 1864, took on a new name and a

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Buffalo Bill

Buffalo Bill

An entertainer considered by many to be the epitome of the Wild West showman made frequent appearances in Oil City. In his debut in the city, he was roundly criticized for swindling the audience and putting on an “atrociously poor” show. Don’t come back to Oil City, blared a local newspaper headline. However, subsequent shows over the years in the city drew acclaim as patrons as well as the media

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The Boom

The Boom

Oil City offered teenagers in the 1950s and 1960s a wide array of social venues. Key among the popular destinations were the city’s two huge movie theaters, an ice skating rink, a YWCA teen dance, the swimming pool and favorite gathering places like Famoore’s and Rollie’s Pizza Shop. Here’s a look at the teen spots: Teen-Inn The Friday night dances at Teen-Inn, an organization sponsored by the Oil City YWCA,

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Contagion

Contagion

The threat of health scourges from polio to influenza, cholera to coronavirus, is a topic that finds its way into municipal codes that oversee everything from parking violations to natural disasters. The Oil City 1907 Digest of Ordinances and Resolutions includes a detailed section on “communicable diseases”. The entry sets out the rules and regulations for all phases of a health emergency and they range from anti-contagion measures to burial

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Oil City All-Stars

Oil City All-Stars

Oil City can claim a three-time medal winner in the summer Olympics who later gained fame in Hollywood. Josephine Eveline McKim, born in 1910 in Oil City, was the granddaughter of Clarion County native William McKim who served as Oil City postmaster. Her parents were Frederick and Musa Hunter McKim and they were the parents of two daughters, Josephine and Musa. The family lived in Oil City until Frederick took

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Hasson Park

How about calling it the Peoples Park? Or maybe, Petroleum Park? What about Honeysuckle Hill Park? Those were just a few of the names suggested for what would become a sprawling and beautiful urban park established 125 years ago in the City of Oil City. The 48-acre tract was offered free of charge to the city on August 12, 1895, by oilman and banker William Hasson who stipulated that the

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The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth

Oil City was a top destination for the traveling circus shows. The popularity of the city as a prime venue on the national circuit was due in large part to leading citizens who had the financial wherewithal to pay the tab. In addition, the city’s numerous clubs, whether social or fraternal or professional, stepped up to serve as sponsors for all types of entertainment. As a result, stage and movie

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A Historic Anniversary

The City of Oil City, marking its 150th anniversary in 2021 as an incorporated city, owed its early start as a river community that served as a microcosm of the industrial flow and ebb of the region. There were very few communities in the United States that saw its wealth soar in just a short time. Thanks to the oil boom, great fortunes were made almost over night and the

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