Item #81507 History of Pithole: By "Crocus." Charles C. LEONARD.

History of Pithole: By "Crocus."

Item #81507

LEONARD, Charles C. History of Pithole: By "Crocus." Pithole City, Pa.: Morton, Longwell, & Co., 1867. 106pp., including in-text illustrations, plus [8]pp. of advertisements. 12mo. Original green cloth, front board gilt. Head of spine chipping slightly, corners bumped, ink stains on front board, rear joint cracked but holding. Contemporary ownership inscription of J.W. Sherbondy of Jamestown, Pa. Scattered moderate foxing, persistent faint dampstain to upper edge and gutter of text. Still about very good. HOWES L257, "aa." STREETER SALE 4046. GRAFF 2458. SABIN 40095. A scarce and early firsthand account of the oil regions of western Pennsylvania, and of the short-lived town of Pithole. Pithole was one of the most dramatic examples of the early oil boom, with nearly its entire history playing out between 1865 and 1867. The town was first laid out in May of 1865 after oil was struck by Isaiah Frazier in January - by July the population had swelled to 2,000, and to ten times that by the end of the year. It was officially incorporated on November 30. The oil and land speculation bubble in Pithole lasted less than a year, and discoveries of oil elsewhere by 1867 (coupled with regular, occasionally devastating fires) more or less emptied the town; by 1870 the population was only a few hundred, and Pithole was unincorporated in 1877. The site of the town was entirely abandoned for nearly a century before it was purchased by James B. Stevenson in 1957 and donated to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1961. No buildings remain of the original town, but the site is now part of the Drake Well Museum and Park, adjacent to Oil Creek State Park. This book, written by Charles Leonard in 1867 at what was already the tail-end of the boom, is separated into two parts. The first presents detailed histories of the various oil companies operating in the area and the former farms on which they were digging wells, as well as the various amenities of Pithole. At its height, the town featured over fifty hotels, three churches, a daily newspaper, and a railroad, and its post office was briefly the third busiest in the state of Pennsylvania (behind only Pittsburgh and Philadelphia). Leonard details nearly all of them, including the invention and implementation of the first ever oil pipelines as a way to speed up distribution and avoid the infam.

Price: $3,000.00

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