Sunday, August 18, 2013

Drilling for Pennsylvania Oil

Jeremiah Berlin
Permelia Olive Ensign Berlin
     The first oil boom in the United States occurred in Pennsylvania starting in 1859.  During the next few decades there were dramatic swings in the price of oil and production capacity far exceeded supply.
     In 1872 drilling was still big news as demonstrated by a few newspaper articles regarding wells on my 2nd great-grandfather, Jeremiah Berlin’s farm.

5 Mar 1872 Petroleum Centre
“Baum, Prentice & Co. have a well down about 300 feet on the Jeremiah Berlin farm in Ashland township about a mile and a half south of Mimm’s Hotel.“

22 May 1872 Petroleum Center Pennsylvania
“The well on the Jeremiah Berlin farm is down over 1,000 feet, and the rocks passed through have been very much the same as that found in the wells at St. Petersburg.  A third sand and paying well is confidentially looked for.”

No further news regarding the well could be located so the outcome is unknown.   By 1900 Standard Oil had created a monopoly and gained control of the oil market and oil discoveries in other parts of the country had moved the focus of the oil industry elsewhere.

Atlas of Clarion County1

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1. Caldwell's Illustrated Historical Combination Atlas of Clarion County, Pennsylvania,  J.A. Caldwell, Condit, Ohio 1877

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