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Caldwell, Ohio: First Oil Well in North America Team Field Report

Hwy 78, Caldwell, OH
I-77 exit 25. Hwy 78 east of town. At the jct of Hwy 564, in a little park on the southeast corner. Look for the caboose. Park and walk into the trees, paralleling Hwy 78. You'll quickly find the well.
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First Oil Well.

First Oil Well in North America

It happened in 1814 -- two settlers looking for salt brine, not oil. A fence prevents petro disciples from dunking their heads in the sacred spot. Report...

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First oil well.

First Oil Well Monument

Along the State Route 78 in Noble County, Ohio, as one leaves the village of Caldwell is a monument to the first oil well...I thought Titusville PA had that honor, but there is a small park and a plaque that gives this HOLE the credit.

[anon., 11/01/1998]

Drake Well Memorial Park, in Titusville, PA, is officially honored as the place where the oil industry began in 1859. It's where "well oil" was first found...but the Thoria-Mckee Well (in this photo, courtesy Mike Austing) claims to be the first well ... as well. Update - June 2004 - David Cater,, offers this clarification: "The Thorla McKee Well at Caldwell, Ohio, just off SR 78, was the first oil producing well in North America, drilled in 1814. The difference is, they were looking for salt where deer were known to lick and they hit oil, which was a nuisance at first because they didn't know what they had. With the Drake well much later, they were actually drilling for oil."

Nearby Offbeat Places

Johnny Appleseed MemorialJohnny Appleseed Memorial, Dexter City, OH - 6 mi.
Coal Miner StatueCoal Miner Statue, Byesville, OH - 16 mi.
Big Muskie's BucketBig Muskie's Bucket, McConnelsville, OH - 13 mi.
In the region:
Trees Carved into Pliers, Dover, OH - 55 mi.

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