About Oil City
Oil City is re-inventing itself, based on its richest assets: a pristine natural setting, striking and affordable real estate, an engaged population with a strong spirit of volunteerism, and a commitment to the arts. Oil City’s rich heritage is rooted in the growth of the oil industry. Located at the confluence of Oil Creek and the Allegheny River, Oil City served as the shipping point and financial center for the world’s oil after Colonel Edwin Drake drilled the first commercially successful oil well in Titusville 12 miles to the north in 1859. The living legacy from those oil boom days is a wealth of distinctive late Victorian architecture, a rugged spirit, and an appreciation for the good things in life.
The area is covered in over 65 miles of paved trails, perfect for biking, walking, and running. We are the hub of the developing Erie to Pittsburgh trail, which will connect the Lake Erie bay front to Pittsburgh’s Point.
The Allegheny River and its tributaries offer canoeing, kayaking, jet boating, and fishing opportunities for much of the area’s four seasons. And the nearby state game lands and Allegheny National Forest are a destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Today, a committed arts community is growing in Oil City’s late Victorian buildings. Well situated to reach urban markets and still enjoy small town life, many artists have relocated to Oil City in order to take advantage of the incentives offered through our Artist Relocation Program.