Early settlement of Oil City was tied to the iron industry. After the development of the petroleum industry in Venango County in 1861, the city became central to that industry, earning its name. The National Transit Building hosted the offices of Standard Oil in the late 1800s, and later Pennzoil, Quaker State, and Wolf’s Head motor oil companies made Oil City their headquarters. The wealth of the oil industry gave Oil City its Victorian and early 20th century architecture, Tiffany stained glass church windows, several museums and historic oil and iron furnace sites. The city also has an active arts community, the Allegheny River, several parks for outdoor recreation, and many more attractions.
Divided by the flow of the Allegheny River, two bridges connect the two halves of this city’s historic downtown. Historic architecture can be found on both sides of the river, as can a variety of restaurants, stores, coffee shops and antique shops. You will find the arts centered on the south side in the National Transit and Annex buildings, hosting art galleries and artist studios. Oil City hosts several events each year, including music, arts, history, recreation and others, the most notable being the Oil Heritage Festival and the Oil Country Bluegrass Festival.
Our area offers an abundance of opportunities to engage your mind, body, and soul.