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“Wellsville’s Dinosaur, how the Sinclair refinery impacted the world”


Historical program this Wednesday April 5 is open to the public

By Kathryn Ross VP of the Thelma Rogers Genealogical and Historical Society

WELLSVILLE – Making a long title short, Dan Davison of the Pioneer Oil Museum in Bolivar will be the featured speaker Wednesday night when the Thelma Rogers Genealogical and Historical Society continues its monthly historical programs.

The public is invited to attend this free program at 6:30 p.m. April 5 in the Exhibition Room at the David A. Howe Library.

The program will explore the development of the Sinclair Refinery and the Sinclair Oil Company and its expansion throughout the country and overseas.

O.P. Taylor discovered oil in nearby Petrolia in 1879. By 1901 the oil industry had taken off, so much so that several local businessmen decided to construct an oil refinery in Wellsville to process oil from the Allegany Field. The entrepreneurs Riley Allen, Henry Norton, James McEwen, Harry Breckenridge, Oak Duke, and A.R. Dougherty were the primary investors. A grand opening was held in September 1902 with 400 invited guests turning out to the new facility according to the archives of the Thelma Rogers Genealogical and Historical Society housed in the Nathaniel Dike museum.

Union Petroleum purchased a controlling interest in the Wellsville Oil Refinery in 1905 and the business became the Union Petroleum Company. In 1919 the Sinclair Oil Company, which had been established three years earlier, purchased the Wellsville refinery. For the next 40 years Sinclair and Wellsville shared in the profits from the black gold pumped out of the millions-of-years-old sedimentary rock of Northern Pennsylvania and Western New York.

At the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933 Sinclair introduced its dinosaur mascot and marketing tool which it continues to utilize.

Come to Wednesday’s program to find out the rest of the story.

To learn more about Wellsville or your own family history, become a member of the Thelma Rogers Genealogical and Historical Society and visit the museum on Dyke Street, Wednesday afternoons from May 1st to Oct. 31st . We’re looking for historically minded people with a little free time.

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