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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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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