Titusville, Pennsylvania

Last updated

Titusville, Pennsylvania
PA 8-27 in Titusville.jpg
Titusville in August 2016
Etymology: Jonathan Titus
Nickname: 
The Queen City
Motto: 
The Valley That Changed the World
Crawford County Pennsylvania Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Titusville Highlighted.svg
Location of Titusville in Crawford County, Pennsylvania
USA Pennsylvania relief location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Titusville
Location in Pennsylvania
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Titusville
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 41°38′N79°40′W / 41.633°N 79.667°W / 41.633; -79.667
CountryUnited States
State Pennsylvania
County Crawford
Incorporated (city)February 28, 1866
Founded byJonathan Titus
Region government/seat Council–manager
Government
  MayorJon Crouch (R)
Area
[1]
  Total2.90 sq mi (7.51 km2)
  Land2.90 sq mi (7.51 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
[2] (middle of city)
1,200 ft (400 m)
Highest elevation
[2] (northeast corner of city)
1,621 ft (494 m)
Lowest elevation
[2] (Oil Creek)
1,150 ft (350 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Total5,262
  Density1,778.3/sq mi (686.62/km2)
Time zone UTC-4 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (EDT)
ZIP Code
16354
Area code 814
FIPS code 42-76904
Website www.cityoftitusvillepa.gov

Titusville is a city in the far eastern corner of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,262 at the 2020 census. [3] Titusville is known as the birthplace of the American oil industry and for a number of years was the leading oil-producing region in the world. [4] It was also notable for its lumber industry, including 17 sawmills, as well as its plastic and toolmaking industries. It is part of the Meadville micropolitan area.

Contents

History

Titusville depicted in an 1896 portrait by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1896.png
Titusville depicted in an 1896 portrait by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler

The area was first settled in 1796 by Jonathan Titus. Within 14 years, others bought and improved land lying near his, along the banks of what is now Oil Creek. Titus named the village Edinburg(h), but as it grew, the settlers began to call the hamlet Titusville. The village was incorporated as a borough in 1849. It was a slow-growing community until the 1850s, when petroleum was discovered in the region.

Oil was known to exist there, but there was no practical way to extract it. Its main use at that time had been as a medicine for both animals and humans. [5] In the late 1850s, the Seneca Oil Company (formerly the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company) sent Col. Edwin L. Drake to start drilling on a piece of leased land just south of Titusville, near what is now Oil Creek State Park. [4] In the summer of 1859, Drake hired a salt well driller, William A. Smith. They had many difficulties, but on August 27, at the site of an oil spring just south of Titusville, they finally drilled a well that could be commercially successful.

Teamsters were needed immediately to transport the oil to markets. In 1862, the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad was built between Titusville and Corry, where the product was transferred to larger east-west railroad lines. In 1865, pipelines were laid directly to the line and the demand for teamsters practically ended. The next year the railroad line was extended south to Petroleum Centre and Oil City. The Union & Titusville Railroad was built in 1865. That line became part of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad in 1871. That fall, President Ulysses S. Grant visited Titusville to view the important region.

Other oil-related businesses were quickly established. Eight refineries were built between 1862 and 1868. Drilling tools were needed and several iron works were built. Titusville grew from 250 residents to 10,000 almost overnight and in 1866, it incorporated as a city. In 1871, the first oil exchange in the United States was established there. The exchange moved from the city, but returned in 1881 in a new, brick building, before being dissolved in 1897. [6]

The first oil millionaire was Jonathan Watson, a resident of Titusville. He owned the land where Drake's well was drilled. He had been a partner in a lumber business prior to the success of the well. At one time it was said that Titusville had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world.

One resident of note was Franklin S. Tarbell, whose large Italianate home still stands. He first moved a few miles south in Venango County and established a wooden stock tank business. About 10 miles (16 km) south-east of Titusville was another oil boom city, Pithole. Oil was discovered in a rolling meadow there in January 1865 and, by September 1865, the population was 15,000. But the oil soon ran dry and within four years the city was nearly deserted. Tarbell moved to Titusville in 1870. His daughter, Ida Minerva Tarbell, grew up amidst the sounds and smells of the oil industry. She became an accomplished writer and published a series of articles about the business practices of the Standard Oil Company and its president, John D. Rockefeller, which sparked legislative action in Congress concerning monopolies.

Fire was always a significant concern around oil and one of the worst blazes was on June 11, 1880. It came to be known as "Black Friday", when almost 300,000 barrels (48,000 m3) of oil burned after an oil tank was hit by lightning. The fire raged for three days until it finally was brought under control. The destroyed oil was valued at $2 million, but there was no loss of life. Another fire occurred on June 5, 1892, when Oil Creek flooded and a tank of petroleum ether overturned. The petroleum ether ignited and, in the ensuing explosions, 60 men, women and children died. Another lightning strike in 1894 resulted in 27,000 barrels (4,300,000 liters) of oil being lost in a fire.

Oil production in Pennsylvania peaked in 1891, after which other industries became established in Titusville. The iron and steel industries dominated the town in the early twentieth century, with lumber eventually reclaiming its former pre-eminence. Oil still has some relevance, however. Charter Plastics, now located in a building that once manufactured pressure vessels, stationary engines and boilers for the oil industry, uses oil in its production processes. [7]

Geography

Titusville is located at 41°38′N79°40′W / 41.633°N 79.667°W / 41.633; -79.667 (41.629, −79.674). [8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), all land.

Located 44.4 miles south of Erie, Pennsylvania

83.6 miles North of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

122.9 Miles East of Cleveland, Ohio

120.5 Miles South of Buffalo, New York

78.2 Miles North East of Youngstown, Ohio

Climate

Climate data for Titusville, Pennsylvania (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1954–present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)68
(20)
74
(23)
81
(27)
88
(31)
91
(33)
94
(34)
100
(38)
96
(36)
97
(36)
87
(31)
78
(26)
72
(22)
100
(38)
Average high °F (°C)32.8
(0.4)
35.3
(1.8)
44.0
(6.7)
57.9
(14.4)
69.4
(20.8)
77.3
(25.2)
81.0
(27.2)
79.6
(26.4)
73.4
(23.0)
61.2
(16.2)
48.3
(9.1)
37.2
(2.9)
58.1
(14.5)
Daily mean °F (°C)23.9
(−4.5)
24.8
(−4.0)
33.1
(0.6)
45.2
(7.3)
56.4
(13.6)
64.9
(18.3)
68.9
(20.5)
67.3
(19.6)
61.0
(16.1)
49.4
(9.7)
38.6
(3.7)
29.2
(−1.6)
46.9
(8.3)
Average low °F (°C)15.0
(−9.4)
14.3
(−9.8)
22.3
(−5.4)
32.5
(0.3)
43.3
(6.3)
52.6
(11.4)
56.7
(13.7)
55.0
(12.8)
48.7
(9.3)
37.6
(3.1)
28.8
(−1.8)
21.3
(−5.9)
35.7
(2.1)
Record low °F (°C)−31
(−35)
−37
(−38)
−20
(−29)
4
(−16)
17
(−8)
26
(−3)
34
(1)
32
(0)
21
(−6)
11
(−12)
−1
(−18)
−22
(−30)
−37
(−38)
Average precipitation inches (mm)3.53
(90)
2.70
(69)
3.49
(89)
4.24
(108)
4.05
(103)
4.86
(123)
4.25
(108)
3.58
(91)
4.06
(103)
4.22
(107)
3.63
(92)
3.72
(94)
46.33
(1,177)
Average snowfall inches (cm)24.3
(62)
18.5
(47)
12.5
(32)
2.8
(7.1)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.8
(2.0)
8.5
(22)
22.0
(56)
89.4
(227)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)18.815.014.014.612.912.811.410.610.414.114.417.4166.4
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)13.910.66.71.70.00.00.00.00.00.43.910.447.6
Source: NOAA [9] [10]

Natural features

The City of Titusville is located in the southeastern Corner of Crawford County in the Pittsburgh High Plateau. The city is drained by Oil Creek, a south-flowing tributary of the Allegheny River, and two tributaries to Oil Creek, Pine Creek, and Church Run. The lowest elevation in the City of Titusville is 1,150 ft (350 m) where Oil Creek flows south of out of the city. The highest elevation is 1,650 ft (500 m) on a high point at the northeastern corner of the city. [2]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
1850 245
1860 43878.8%
1870 8,6391,872.4%
1880 11,98238.7%
1890 12,7866.7%
1900 11,738−8.2%
1910 9,982−15.0%
1920 8,432−15.5%
1930 8,055−4.5%
1940 8,1260.9%
1950 8,9239.8%
1960 8,356−6.4%
1970 7,331−12.3%
1980 6,884−6.1%
1990 6,434−6.5%
2000 6,146−4.5%
2010 5,601−8.9%
2020 5,262−6.1%
Sources: [11] [12] [13]

As of the 2017 United States Census, there were 5,418 people, 2,397 households, and 1,337 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,931.2 inhabitants per square mile (745.6/km2). There were 2,876 housing units at an average density of 901.7 per square mile (348.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.2% White, 1.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 2,322 households, out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.4% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.8% under the age of 18, 11.7% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,978 and the median income for a family was $39,679. Males had a median income of $27,283 versus $20,458 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,915. About 13.0% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.4% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Historical markers

Downtown Titusville, PA in 2014 Titusville, Pennsylvania (8483326973).jpg
Downtown Titusville, PA in 2014

Tourism

Drake Well Drake Well, June 2012.jpg
Drake Well

Festivals

Education

The area is served by the Titusville Area School District which includes Titusville High School, Titusville Middle School, Mainstreet Elementary. Pleasantville Elementary, Hydetown Elementary, ECLC.

Universities

University of Pittsburgh at Titusville Haskell Memorial Library at University of Pittsburgh Titusville.JPG
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Venango County, Pennsylvania</span> County in Pennsylvania, United States

Venango County is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 50,454. Its county seat is Franklin. The county was created in 1800 and later organized in 1805.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crawford County, Pennsylvania</span> County in Pennsylvania, United States

Crawford County is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 83,938. Its county seat is Meadville. The county was created on March 12, 1800, from part of Allegheny County and named for Colonel William Crawford.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carter County, Oklahoma</span> County in Oklahoma, United States

Carter County is a county in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2020 census, the population was 48,003. Its county seat is Ardmore. The county was named for Captain Ben W. Carter, a Cherokee who lived among the Chickasaw.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hydetown, Pennsylvania</span> Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Hydetown is a borough in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 526 at the 2020 census, up from 526 at the 2010 census, down from 605 in 2000. It was established in 1862.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oil Creek Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania</span> Township of Titusville Pennsylvania in the United States

Oil Creek Township is a township in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 1,702 at the 2020 census, a decrease from 1,877 at the 2010 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Corry, Pennsylvania</span> City in Pennsylvania, United States

Corry is a city in northwestern Pennsylvania, United States. With a population of 6,217 at the 2020 United States Census, it is the second largest city in Erie County. Corry is a part of the Erie, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city became famous in the late-19th and early-20th centuries for being the manufacturer of Climax locomotives.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Union City, Pennsylvania</span> Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Union City is a borough in Erie County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is located 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Erie. In the twentieth century, there were three large chair factories, planing and grist mills, a powdered milk plant, and several furniture factories. The population was 2,934 at the 2020 census. It is part of the Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Franklin, Pennsylvania</span> City in Pennsylvania, United States

Franklin is a city in and the county seat of Venango County, Pennsylvania, United States, located at the confluence of French Creek and the Allegheny River. The population was 6,097 in the 2020 census. Franklin is part of the Oil City micropolitan area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oil City, Pennsylvania</span> City in Pennsylvania, United States

Oil City is the largest city in Venango County, Pennsylvania, United States. Known for its prominence in the initial exploration and development of the petroleum industry, it is located at a bend in the Allegheny River at the mouth of Oil Creek. The population was 9,608 at the 2020 census, and it is the principal city of the Oil City micropolitan area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edwin Drake</span> American businessman

Edwin Laurentine Drake, also known as Colonel Drake, was an American businessman and the first American to successfully drill for oil.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Drake Well Museum</span> Industry museum in Pennsylvania, United States

The Drake Well Museum and Park is a museum that interprets the birth of the American oil industry in 1859 by "Colonel" Edwin Drake along the banks of Oil Creek in Cherrytree Township, Venango County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The museum collects and preserves related artifacts. The reconstructed Drake Well demonstrates the first practical use of salt drilling techniques for the extraction of petroleum through an oil well. A historic site, the museum is located in Cherrytree Township, 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Titusville on Drake Well Road, situated between Pennsylvania Routes 8 and 27. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pithole, Pennsylvania</span> Ghost town in Pennsylvania, United States

Pithole, or Pithole City, is a ghost town in Cornplanter Township, Venango County, Pennsylvania, United States, about 6 miles (9.7 km) from Oil Creek State Park and the Drake Well Museum, the site of the first commercial oil well in the United States. Pithole's sudden growth and equally rapid decline, as well as its status as a "proving ground" of sorts for the burgeoning petroleum industry, made it one of the most famous of oil boomtowns.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oil Creek State Park</span> Former oilfield in Pennsylvania

Oil Creek State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on 6,250 acres (2,529 ha) in Cherrytree, Cornplanter and Oil Creek Townships, Venango County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park is adjacent to Drake Well Museum, the site of the first successful commercial oil well in the United States, that was drilled under the direction of Colonel Edwin Drake. Oil Creek State Park follows Oil Creek, between Titusville and Oil City, and is on Pennsylvania Route 8. While the creek is the park's main recreational attraction, it also contains the sites of the first oil boomtown and much of Pennsylvania's original oil industry. The park contains a museum, tableaux, and trails to help visitors understand the history of the oil industry there, and an excursion train.

A wildcatter is an individual who drills wildcat wells, which are exploration oil wells drilled in areas not known to be oil fields. Notable wildcatters include Glenn McCarthy, Thomas Baker Slick Sr., Mike Benedum, Joe Trees, Clem S. Clarke, and Columbus Marion Joiner; the last is responsible for finding the East Texas Oil Field in 1930.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Petroleum Center, Pennsylvania</span>

Petroleum Center is a populated place and ghost town in Cornplanter Township, Venango County, Pennsylvania, United States. In the 19th century, the name was also spelled "Petroleum Centre". The town today is almost deserted.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pennsylvania oil rush</span>

The oil rush in America started in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in the Oil Creek Valley when Edwin L. Drake struck "rock oil" there in 1859. Titusville and other towns on the shores of Oil Creek expanded rapidly as oil wells and refineries shot up across the region. Oil quickly became one of the most valuable commodities in the United States and railroads expanded into Western Pennsylvania to ship petroleum to the rest of the country.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad</span>

The Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad is a tourist railroad that runs from Titusville to Rynd Farm north of Oil City in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The Oil Creek and Titusville Lines is the designated operator of the railroad, as well as the freight carrier on the line.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Drake Well</span> United States historic place

The Drake Well is a 69.5-foot-deep (21.2 m) oil well in Cherrytree Township, Venango County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, the success of which sparked the first oil boom in the United States. The well is the centerpiece of the Drake Well Museum located 3 miles (5 km) south of Titusville.

The Pithole Valley Railway was an ephemeral short line railroad in Venango County, Pennsylvania, constructed as a result of the Pennsylvania oil rush. The railroad was originally constructed in 1865 between Oil City, Pennsylvania, a local oil transportation hub, and the boomtown of Pithole, Pennsylvania. Constructed under the charter of the Clarion Land and Improvement Company, it was informally known as the Oil City and Pithole Branch Railroad. Although it was generally supported by the broad gauge Atlantic and Great Western Railway, it was built to standard gauge. Conflict with the Warren and Franklin Railway over the right-of-way along the Allegheny River led to a lawsuit which, in 1866, declared that the Oil City and Pithole had no right to operate along the river from Oleopolis, Pennsylvania to Oil City. That part of the line was sold to the Warren and Franklin, leaving the Oil City and Pithole with a 7-mile (10 km) line running north from Oleopolis to Pithole along Pithole Creek.

The Pennsylvania Petroleum Railroad was a railroad in Pennsylvania originally chartered in 1871, during the Pennsylvania oil rush. Intended to provide an additional outlet from the Pennsylvania oil fields to Erie, Pennsylvania, it graded about ten miles of line in 1872, but was then caught up in the collapse of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad, which halted the project. The company was foreclosed and reorganized under new names many times, but accomplished relatively little. It laid a short segment of line in 1890 in Titusville, Pennsylvania which was leased to a subsidiary of the New York Central to be used as a siding to a tannery. Further construction took place in 1913 with the idea of opening it as an electric railway to Cambridge Springs, but this, too, was never completed.

References

  1. "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Get Maps". USGS Topoview. US Geological Survey. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  3. "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Titusville city, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1896". World Digital Library . 1896. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  5. Hendrick, Burton J. (1919). "II THE FIRST GREAT AMERICAN TRUST" (PDF). The Age of Big Business. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 27. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  6. Explorepahistory.com Accessed August 8, 2008
  7. "Charter Plastics". Charter Plastics. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  8. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  10. "Station: Titusville WTR WKS, PA". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991–2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  11. "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  12. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  14. "Pennsylvania Historical Marker Search". www.phmc.state.pa.us. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  15. "Historic Pithole City | Drake Well Museum". www.drakewell.org. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  16. "Benson Memorial Library – 213 North Franklin Street, Titusville, PA 16354-1788 — Phone: 814-827-2913" . Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  17. "Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad – Home". www.octrr.org. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  18. "Pimpin' Pennsylvania – Afroman". SongLyrics.com. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  19. Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine : "J. Cash – Ride This Train Story 34 [The Year 1859, to Titusville, Pennsylvania]". YouTube.