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6.21.2016

The Heritage and Beauty of the Oil Creek Valley


The Oil Creek Valley is an excellent place to spend some time taking in history and the great outdoors. What was once severely environmentally degraded has rebounded into a great display of the power of nature, with remnants of the valley's industrial past remaining. 
One of the first things you see as you enter the state park from the north is the Drake Bridge. This is just beyond the Drake Well Museum. This bridge dates back to 1882 and it was built by the former Morse Bridge Company in Youngstown, OH. This old iron through truss bridge is impressive, along with its sibling bridge, the Petroleum Centre Bridge, just downstream. They are of only a handful of remaining bridges from this company.
The Drake Well Station on the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad.
Some of the displays at the Drake Well Museum.
The valley is filled with these old remnants, scattered about and found in unexpected places. 
An old Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission sign commemorating Drake's Well, the first oil well in the world. 
A replica of Drake's Well at the Drake Well Museum.
Another classic through truss bridge. This one is within Titusville.

There is wildlife all over the place in the Oil Creek Valley and at Oil Creek State Park. The valley today is a story of how nature triumphs over the neglect of man. Remnants remain from the heavy industry, but nature has largely reclaimed these lands. This guy captured our attention for a while.


One of the replica oil derricks.
The Petroleum Centre Bridge.
More wildlife!
Petroleum Centre is said to have been the Dodge City of the east. The industrial development of this town far outpaced the civic development. The end result was a free market free for all, with lawlessness and vice abounding. There was no government, which meant no police, and absolute chaos. This town sprung up fast as a boomtown, and fell down just as fast. Today it is a ghost town.
The view looking at what would have been the downtown area.
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The rail through truss bridge for the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad. I love these old rail bridges.
The Petroleum Centre Rail Station
Tons of turkeys!

The Oil Creek Valley and Oil Creek State Park are definitely places that you need to check out. In addition to what we have shown, there are terrific opportunities for  hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, wildlife viewing, rail riding, and more within the "valley that changed the world." You need to make some time to visit this awesome place. This link shows a guide to some of the waterfalls and bridges at the park that we made from a previous visit to the valley. On this visit we spent the weekend at the Caboose Motel, and rode the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad. 






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