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September/2008        The News Gusher
Welcome to the Oil Region Alliance Newsletter
The Oil Region Alliance is pleased to send you its newsletter.   If you have difficulty viewing this new format of the newsletter via this email, it will be posted on soon.  Also, depending upon your computer system, you may need to click on "view images" to see the pictures.  Feel free to contact me at with questions and comments concerning the newsletter.

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UP, UP, AND AWAY!! Crawford Center
by Karen Wenner

   The commercial air service at Venango Regional Airport is running again. We want to welcome Gulfstream International Airlines as the Continental Connection to their hub in Cleveland.
          In May of 2007, Air Midwest announced they were terminating service at the airport. O.C. Bell, Airport Manager, requested the service of the Oil Region Alliance to locate another provider.  The Economic Development Department of the Alliance compiled information from many of the local businesses on their travel and concerns about the local airport. This information was used by the Alliance in marketing potential airlines.
        The termination notice, once thought to be a terrible thing, ended up being a blessing in disguise.  The airport had lost a large percentage of its travelers due to the flight schedule. This was made known to potential providers and requests were made for flight times that were business friendly.  After several discussions with Gulfstream, they realized the Oil Region's potential enplanements and submitted a bid for contract with USDOT.
      I have already taken my first flight and was very happy with the times and cost but, most importantly ,the ability to leave my house less than an hour before my flight takeoff and still arrive in plenty of time.  The grand opening was held on September 2 and was a huge success, thanks to all of you who attended to support the new airline.  For those of you who were unable to attend, you can still show your support by booking your flight at FKL.
Departures:  7:10 am, 10:05 am, 1:30 pm, 5:25 pm;
Arrivals: 9:50 am, 5:10 pm, 7:45 pm.

PHMC Approves Preservation Services Grant
   by Marilyn Black
   The Oil Region Alliance is pleased to accept a $12,500 Community Preservation grant awarded by the PA Historical and Museum Commission. 
   Starting January, 2009, professional architectural and/or engineering services via the firm of StruXures LLC in Seneca will be available on a subsidized basis to public and private non-profit owners of buildings in or immediately adjacent to the designated historic districts in Titusville, Oil City, Franklin, and Emlenton.  Each participating property owner will provide half of the costs, with the grant providing an equal match. 
    The initial grant application (filed in November of 2007) indicated that participation would first be offered to the organizations which provided letters of interest accompanying that grant application.  Anticipated subjects are therefore the Crawford Center in Emlenton, DeBence Antique Music World in Franklin, National Transit Building and Oil City Armory in Oil City, and the Perry Street Station and Tarbell House in Titusville.  Depending on the specific consultation needed for those buildings, a second wave of invitations may be issued.  Interested property owners should contact Mrs. Kim Harris, Project Manager, at 677-3152, Ext. 120.

oil 150 logoRetail Sales Outlets for Oil 150 Items  by William Wingo

   The Oil Region Alliance and Oil 150 have established consignment sales locations for various promotional items related to the celebration of the150th Anniversary of the world's first successful commercial oil well. 
   Randy Seitz, President of the Alliance, said "With the addition of these cooperating retail outlets, it will be much more convenient for anyone interested in purchasing an item to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the discovery of oil." 
   Oil 150 items are available at the following locations:
Coal Oil Johnny's eatery, Pleasantville,
Drake Well Museum Store, Titusville,
Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, Franklin,
Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad, Perry Street      
    Station, Titusville,
Pumping Jack Museum, Emlenton,
Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce, Titusville,
Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, Oil City,
Venango Museum of Art, Science, and Industry, 
    Oil City.
   Shopping for a keepsake for yourself or a guest? Consider these Oil 150 products: a 3' x 5' nylon flag; a lapel pin; or perhaps a keychain. 
   Additional items are also available at the online store in the Oil150 website,
   If your business or organization is interested in becoming a sales location, please contact Oil 150 Director William Wingo, 814 677-3152, ext 104.
Preservation Initiative Award Presented to Lynn Cochran Crawford Center
by Marilyn Black

   During the annual Oil Heritage Region Historic Preservation Awards ceremony, the "Preservation Initiative" award was presented to Mrs. Lynn Cochran in recognition of her leadership on the Alliance Preservation Committee and especially for her determination and resourcefulness with regard to the acquisition of the Tarbell House.
   Mrs. Cochran joined the Preservation Committee in 2002 and became its Chair in 2006.
   When the Oil Region Alliance was selecting a site for a model rehabilitation project, Mrs. Cochran encouraged the consideration of ones with significant oil history connections.  Upon learning of the possible availability of the Tarbell House at 324 East Main Street in Titusville, Mrs. Cochran communicated with previous owners, banks, mortgage companies, and realtors, trying to convince them to donate the property. 
   Within days after a "For Sale" sign appeared on its lawn, the Alliance Board authorized a sales purchase offer. On May 31, 2007, the Alliance purchased the land and house for $39,000 from the AMC Mortgage Service of West Orange, California.  Ever since, Mrs. Cochran has championed this project; she continues to assist with fund-raising to accomplish the restoration of the home's appearance to the period when the Tarbell family was in residence.
New Titusville Community Gateway Dedicated Crawford Center
by Kim Harris

   Exactly 149 years after Edwin Drake struck oil with the first commercial oil well, over 60 community members and elected officials gathered in Titusville on August 27 to celebrate the completion of the "Titusville Community Gateway."  Speakers remarked on the importance of the gateway, the Community of Titusville, and the Oil Region National Heritage Area.  
   "We are pleased that the Alliance could be a part of this collaborative effort," remarked Randy Seitz, President of the Alliance. "The oil derrick is very fitting, reminding everyone of the events that took place here during the oil boom years.  Soon along Interstate 80 in Barkeyville the second derrick of this size will be built to denote to travelers that they are in the Oil Region National Heritage Area, continued Mr. Seitz."   
   The gateway, a collaborative project of the Alliance, Titusville Renaissance, and the City of Titusville, sports a 32-foot wooden replica oil derrick with an Oil 150 flag on top.  The derrick was constructed by Gustafson General Contracting of Oil City with lumber donated by community member Ken Nichols.  Using green technology, the gateway includes solar power to light the derrick throughout the night.   
   "As we look at this structure might it remind us to stand tall and be proud that we are from the region of the birthplace of the oil industry, the valley that changed the world," stated Chris Fiely, President of the Titusville Renaissance. 
   A distinctive feature of the landscaping of the community gateway is an original wooden oil tank donated by Mike and Paula Mahle of Fryburg.   Large rocks and a variety of vegetation by Wilcox Greenhouse and Nursery of Titusville complete the landscaping.  Designating to travelers that they are in Titusville, the "Queen City" and the Oil Region National Heritage Area, is a 4' x 6' sign fabricated by Icon Screenprinting of Erie. 
   The dedication ceremony concluded with an official ribbon cutting with all attendees invited to participate.   
   This project was financed in part by a PA Heritage Program Grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation via the Alliance.  Matching funds were provided by the County of Crawford and the Crawford Heritage Foundation.   
   Additional contributions were made by Weber Murphy Fox of Erie; John "Augie" Holtz; Penelec; Penn DOT, District 1-0; the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Bureau of Forestry, and Bureau of Recreation and Conservation; and the Department of Environmental Protection.
And the Winner Is - - - - - - - Crawford Center
by Darlene Eaton

   Marilyn Black, Vice-President of Heritage Development, was chosen by her co-workers as the Alliance's 2008 "Employee of the Year."  This award represents exemplary performance that achieves the goals and objectives of the organization's Plan of Work. 
   Through Marilyn's vision and determination, the Alliance is implementing the approved Management Plans for the Oil Region National Heritage Area and Pennsylvania Oil Heritage Region.  
   Marilyn is responsible for projects which preserve cultural resources or enhance and preserve natural and recreational resources.  These are part of what makes the quality of life in the Oil Region a positive experience. 
   The Heritage Development Department, which includes two Project Managers and occasional interns or part-time persons, is currently involved in 45 active projects.  Some of these include restoration of the Tarbell House in Titusville, the Historic House Plaque Program, Oil Region Visitor Centers in Oil City and Titusville, historic markers, recreation trail signage, Oil 150 coordination, preservation awards, construction of full-size derricks as community gateways, a survey of oil/gas historical sites, feasibility study for Natural Gas Museum, and more.
   Marilyn spends a considerable portion  of work time in securing funding for these projects in the form of federal and Commonwealth grants or funds from trusts, private and public entities, and individuals.  Grant funds are increasingly possible because of the federal and Pennsylvania Heritage Region designations.
   In her "spare" time, Marilyn enjoys fishing, crafts, kayaking, and especially spending time with husband Darl and felines, Bailey and Catspurr, at their home in Cochranton.
Nominations Being Accepted for Preservation Awards
by Toni Kresinski 

   Nominations are being accepted for the 2009 Oil Heritage Region Historic Preservation Awards.  Co-sponsors for the awards are the Crawford County Historical Society, Oil Region Alliance, Titusville Historical Society, Titusville Renaissance, Inc., and the Venango County Historical Society. 
   The awards program recognizes rehabilitation and restoration efforts undertaken during the past five years involving buildings or other structures that are at least 50 years old.  Any structure in the Oil Heritage Region is eligible to receive an award.  This area includes all of Venango County and the Borough of Hydetown, the City of Titusville, and Oil Creek Township in Crawford County.  
    Anyone may submit a nomination for a preservation award.  Eligible structures include commercial, residential, industrial, public, religious or other properties.  Interior work in public buildings and/or exterior work is eligible. Once an individual or project has received a Historic Preservation Award, they are ineligible to receive another award for five years. 
    Recipients of the 2009 Oil Heritage Region Historic Preservation Awards will be recognized at a dinner at the University of Pittsburgh, Titusville Campus, during the 10th Annual Victorian Architecture and its Preservation Conference on Saturday, May 9.
   Nominations are due March 15, 2009.  Nomination forms may be picked up and nominations may be delivered to the Oil Region Alliance on the fourth floor of the National Transit Building in Oil City or mailed to the Oil Region Alliance at P.O. Box 128, Oil City.  It is recommended that color photographs showing before and after views of the project be submitted with the nomination. 
   For information, call Toni Kresinski at 677-3152, Extension 110.
Panel Discussion on "The Relevance of Oil History in Modern Times"
Held in Titusville   
Will Wingo
   On August 27, guests from eight counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York listened and participated in an interesting panel discussion presented by the Oil Region Alliance and Oil 150 entitled "The Relevance of Petroleum History in the Modern World," on the University of Pittsburgh, Titusville Campus.
   Randy Seitz, President of the Alliance, who coordinated the event, said "This is the first of a series of educational opportunities. We encourage you to demonstrate your support and help spread the word across the country about this important anniversary."
   State Representative Scott Hutchinson, Chairman of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee, said, "This anniversary celebrates the important and ground breaking events that happened here in the Oil Creek Valley. We are pleased to sponsor events and activities to help promote Oil 150 in the oil region and nationally."
   The panel consisted of well-known local and regional historians and individuals with diverse interests in the modern petroleum and natural gas industries.
   The wide-ranging discussion also included information and views from a geological perspective by John Harper, of the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey, who said, "He who ignores history is destined to repeat it. Knowledge of past practices is very important when you are trying to produce something that is so important. We do not want to repeat past mistakes."
   Dr. William Brice, author of a soon-to-be published biography of Edwin Drake, provided several insights into his views on the historical perspective, "People often ask why we study history  -- except for the wheel and gunpowder, I was unable to think of any other industry that has changed the world to the extent which oil has."
   The discussion was taped by Armstrong Cable and will be available in the near future to subscribers with Video on Demand service.
   The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was the sponsor of this event in conjunction with Oil150.
Welcome New and Renewal Members     by Darlene Eaton

   The Alliance thanks these business and individuals who are new members or who have recently renewed:

Black, Marilyn and Darl (new), family membership  
Brice, Dr. William, 814-269-3950, oil industry history author and editor  
Captain Hall's Allegheny River Tours
677-5560, Commercial river tours from the Oil City FMarina on historic oil packet boat   
Hagen Business Machines of Meadville, Inc. (new), 724-4601, Sales, service and support on complete line of color laser multifunction products  
Handsome Lake Energy, 498-0023, Electric generating station using natural gas fired combustion turbines  -size 280  
Harris Trades, 374-4376, Wholesale work glove sales by the dozen/case  
Hileman and Woods, 676-9642, Office furnishings including supplies, furniture and machines; Steelcase systems and seating 
Joy Mining Machinery (new)  432-1751, Cost effective equipment and support for the extraction of underground coal and other bedded materials  
Leech Carbide, 724-5454, Tungsten carbide blanks, preform, and tooling to your specifications
Lindquist, Nancy (new), individual membership  
Sehman Tire Service, 437-7878, Retail and wholesale sales of tires and tire-related services including retreading  
State Street Furniture (new), 676-0799, Quality pre-owned furniture and bedding.  
Titusville Renaissance, Inc., 827-6556, dedicated to revitalizing downtown Titusville
Vicken Real Estate (new), (814) 323-7663, Owns and rents property in northwest Pennsylvania  
Wilcox Greenhouse and Nursery, 827-3823,  Greenhouse, nursery, landscaping, patio stone  
Wolfe, Joanne (new), individual membership
Volume 4, Issue 8
In This Issue
Up, Up, and Away
PHMC Approves Preservation Services Grant
Oil 150 Retail Sales Outlets
Preservation Initiative Award
Titusville Community Gateway
And the Winner Is.....
Preservation Awards Nominations
"The Relevance of Oil History in Modern Times"
New and Renewal Members
Will You Share Your Photos
"Show Me the Money II"
Upcoming Oil Region Events

Will You Share Your Photos To Help to Promote the  Oil Region?
 by Betty Squire
Summer has quickly passed, and the Oil Heritage Region is beginning to be blessed with beautiful autumn foliage.
     The Alliance needs new photos of fall festivals, leaves, scenes along the Allegheny and streams, and any other suitable subjects, for use in promotional pieces.
      If you have any you would be willing to share, please email them to


"$how Me the Money II"  FUNdraising Dinner
& Reverse Raffle 

$aturday, October 18  
Oil City 
 Knights of Columbus Hall  

$25 ticket entitles attendee to a delicious dinner,
beer & soft drinks all evening.
Must be 21 and present
to win. 
Doors open at
5:30 p.m. 
Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism

Call Toni Kresinski at 
(814) 677-3152, ext. 110
Venango County small games of chance license #1404.     
Upcoming Events in the Oil Region
"The Colors of Fall," exhibit at Transit Fine Arts Gallery, 677-3707. 
October 2,3,4, 9,10,11, 16,17,18 23,24,25 30,31
House of Terror
by Sleepy Hollow Amusements, Inc., 657-3864

 October 2,3,4
"The Sound of Music" at Barrow Civic Theatre
October 1-26
Train Rides, OC&T Railraod every Wednesday-Sunday,
October 3-4
Lantern Tour of Pithole,
October 3-5
Franklin Chamber, 432-5823.
October 4
Handbell & Choral Festival, Titusville
October 4-5
PA Preferred Best Chef
Competition in Franklin

October 18
Twilight Tales of the 
 Queen City
 Titusville Renaissance
October 18
Gene Watson Concert
Titusville Council on the Arts
October 18
Fund raiser
Oil Region Alliance
October 23
Card Party Luncheon at
Venango Museum
October 21
Official Blues Brothers Review
Oil City Arts Council
October 25
Oil Valley Blacksmiths at Drake Well grounds
Art exhibit by Sue Clark at Transit Fine Arts Gallery, 
November 9
Birthday Party for
George Bissell
at Venango Museum
Major Members
County of Venango
City of Franklin
City of Titusville
City of Oil City
Cranberry Township
MPC Studios
National City
Specialty Fabrication & Powder Coating
Joy Mining Machinery
UPMC Northwest
National Fuel 
The Oil Region Alliance Board of Directors 
James Hawkins, Chair                                      Barr's Insurance
Michael Klapec, Vice Chair                               Klapec Auto Body
Betsy Kellner, Secretary                                   Venango Museum
Lynda Cochran, Treasurer                                 Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce
Neil McElwee, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer     Oil Creek Press
Jonathan Crawford, Immediate Past Chair          Kapp Alloy & Wire Co., Inc.
J. Michael Allyn                                               Titusville Redevelopment Authority
Kathy Bailey                                                    Cranberry Mall
Dennis Beggs                                                  Central Electric Cooperative
Dr. Timothy Brooks                                          Venango County Commissioner
Fred Buckholtz                                                Cranberry Township
John Cramer                                                    Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad
Rodney Griffin                                                  Specialty Fabrication & Powder Coating
Stephen Hanna                                                National City
Joseph Nichols                                                Farley's Services
David Pascale                                                  First Energy
Frank Przybycin                                               Team Hardinger Transportation
Dr. Christopher Reber                                       Clarion University of PA - Venango Campus Edward Sharp                                                  Indvidual
Dr. William Shields                                          University of Pittsburgh at Titusville
Warren Thomas                                               Baytree Farm 
Peter Winkler                                                  Congressman Peterson's Office
Maryann Yochim                                              National Fuel
Barbara Zolli                                                    Drake Well Museum
 Randy Seitz, President and Chief Operating Officer 
Darlene Eaton
Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism
814-677-3152 extension 117