Posted on May 21, 2015

What and Where Is This?

click on photo to enlarge

The first person to correctly identify the site in the photo above will be recognized as a truly perceptive scholar. Please send your responses to: Info@downingtownareahistoricalsociety.org

Oil discovery here was one of the big stories in the Downingtown Archive 96 years ago


Here are some of the news items local residents read about in the Downingtown Archive in the summer of 1919:

  • Oil was discovered in Lyndell by John Lewis, proprietor of the general store there. Skeptics in the neighborhood pointed out that there was an oil tank, with a capacity of about 100 gallons, in the cellar of Lewis’s store, which was about 25 feet behind where the oil had been discovered. Lewis insisted that the tank wasn’t leaking. Despite those suspicions, nearby property owners were leasing their land, and many drilling rigs were brought into the area. Those who took a sample of the discovered oil said it had a “distinct kerosene odor” and “burns about as readily as artificially refined kerosene.” Also, an “analysis discloses the presence of some lubrication oils, as well as kerosene.” Experts, including an engineer from the U.S. Bureau of Mines, examined the oil and the discovery site, but their reports had not yet been made public.
  • Members of the Minquas Fire Co. voted to buy a new, electric siren, to replace the present fire alarm system. They also voted to change their regular meeting night to the second Tuesday night of the month, from the second Monday, “to accommodate Mr. Lear, who desired to hold his weekly dances on Monday nights.”

Read the full Hist-O-Gram»