Thorla-McKee Well - "First Oil Well In North America"
First Oil Well In North America- The Thorla-McKee Well,
(Designated a Great Ohio Adventure in Learning
by the State of Ohio), is located just off SR 78*
two miles East of Caldwell I-77 Exit 25 at the junction of
At this site is the original log casing used by Silas Thorla
and Robert McKee in 1814 when drilling for salt where deer
were known to lick. They found salt, but also oil and natural
gas, which was a nuisance at first. They bottled the substance
and sold it as Seneca Oil for tonic. Not until
1859, when the refinery of oil was perfected, was it used
for lamp and heating oil. A small amount can still be extracted
for this purpose today.
Bob Ball and David Lucas demonstrate oil production at the
site the way it use to be done, while showing that small amounts
can still be extracted and used after all of these years since
the discovery in 1814.
Click here or on the photo
for more History of the First Oil Well In North America.
Also see Caboose #33.
Note: State Route 78, which runs East and West all
the way through Noble County has been named by Car
and Driver Magazine as one of the most scenic drives
in the United States!