ROUSEVILLE, Pa. – The world's oldest continually producing oil well has quietly celebrated its 150th birthday in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Dozens of people gathered in Rouseville, near Route 8, to mark the occasion at McClintock Well No. 1 on Tuesday, the Titusville Herald reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/qoXdqB).
The well, about 70 miles north of Pittsburgh, was drilled on Aug. 16, 1861, about two years after Edwin Drake drilled the world's first oil well in Titusville, about 10 miles farther north.
The Seneca Indians had gathered oil that seeped out of the ground in the area, believing it to be a natural remedy, until the Drake Well set off a boom that began in northwestern Pennsylvania and prompted well drilling on what was then Hamilton McClintock's farm.
The 200-foot deep well initially produced about 175 barrels a day for the Brewer Watson Lumber Co., which leased the land, said Dan Weaver, an educator from the Drake Well Museum.
The well's production dropped off to about 50 barrels daily, and it changed hands before it came to be owned by Quaker State, now part of Sopus Products Inc., which donated it to the museum in 1995, Weaver said.
Today, the well produces about 40 barrels per year, which is shipped to the American Refining Group in Bradford.
The National Park Service declared the well an American Treasure in 1999.
Information from: The Titusville Herald, http://www.titusvilleherald.com/