Oil City is approximately 85 miles North of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and 60 miles South West of Erie, Pennsylvania. It was the center of the world's oil industry in the late 1800's, drawing such oil rights speculators as JOHN WILKES BOOTH, who resided on Buffalo Street in Franklin, Pennsylvania during the latter years of the United States' Civil War (1861-1865). Thousands became rich actually drilling for oil, or buying up the rights for the oil under tracts of land. Old mansions line First Street on the South Side (south of the Allegheny River) of Oil City, attesting to the oil wealth that was once here. Two years ago, Oil City ceased to be the headquarters city for QUAKER STATE REFINING, a major petroleum products distributor. The company relocated to Dallas.
Now, a quiet bedroom community of small manufacturers and small businesses, Oil City remains a good place to live, and more important, to raise a family. With beautiful scenery, and excellent facilities for the enjoyment of outdoor sports, such as fishing, hunting, hiking, and nature-related hobbies, thousands visit the area every year. Those who have left still maintain their contacts with the old hometown. As this is being written, the fall foliage is just starting to come out in reds and golds on the mountainsides. This was the site of Seneca Indian Chief Cornplanter's main village in the early 1700s. When the autumn paints the hillsides, it is easy to see why.