Clark’s Summit

Clark’s Summit

The first permanent settlers in what would become Oil City were Frances and Sarah Halyday who bought 400 acres that spanned an area from the confluence of Oil Creek and the Allegheny River up over the nearby hill. The year was 1803. It is the oldest section of the city and would eventually acquire the name Clark’s Summit and Lover’s Leap. Much of the property would become the centerpiece of

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Believe It or Not

Believe It or Not

Tucked into the heritage of Oil City are little nuggets of quirky history. Here’s a sampling of those ‘Did You Know?‘ entries: Did You Know? Oil City has at least two entries in Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” series. Main Street boasted the Hotel Bellevue, located directly across from the Center Street Bridge. It was built against a hillside and was only one-room deep. The hotel boasted it offered only

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An Eventful Year

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

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Grand Spectacles

Grand Spectacles

Oil City attracted a wide variety of big name athletes, national politicians, actors and actresses, well-known artists, huge circuses and much more as a result of a thriving economy and a philanthropic public. In its 150-year history, the community has been a destination spot for the famous. There were unique visitors, too, and they were inanimate – huge cartoon character balloons, the Liberty Bell and a special Freedom Train that

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Taking Flight

Taking Flight

The Oil City area has a strong aviation history, thanks in large part to the fuel it has provided from the prolific oil patch. It also can claim native sons and daughters whose wartime aerial exploits brought praise to their community. There are other aviation-related ties, too, that drew headlines for daring feats, ingenuity and perseverance. Lindbergh Was Here On April 5, 1945, a man piloting a dark blue, single-engine

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Oil City Aces

Oil City Aces

Oil City has a long and enduring history of sending its young men and women into harm’s way as soldiers, sailors and Marines. The city has been well represented in all U.S. conflicts. Our veterans have been highly honored for their service and valor. Among the most famous veterans from the city were two residents who ranked as top aerial aces – Francis Gabreski and George Carpenter. Both were Oil

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Grove Hill Cemetery

Grove Hill Cemetery

Grove Hill Cemetery, Oil City’s central city graveyard, was formally dedicated on June 22, 1871. It took only a matter of days until many grave plots were filled. Even as it opened, it immediately became the burial grounds for numerous city residents whose remains were exhumed from several small cemeteries located elsewhere in the city. Joining that first group of interred city residents were others whose graves had been found

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From Oil to Oz

From Oil to Oz

The early oil and gas industry in the Oil Valley spawned enormous wealth for many and a great number of those who benefited from their investments allowed their families and employees to pursue other ventures. Their solid financial futures resulted in the time, expertise and wherewithal to invent things, expand their culture, engage in the arts and more. One such oil legacy resulted in the children’s classic – L. Frank

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Kramer & Mullins

Kramer & Mullins

A pair of sturdy brick buildings in Oil City’s West End was the location of two very unique manufacturers at one time. The private companies would sell their one-of-a-kind products across the globe. Those enterprises were very different – one served the oil industry and the other offered leisure to water enthusiasts. They were the Kramer Wagon Company, a maker of sturdy wood wagons, and the Mullins Boat Corporation, manufacturer

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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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