Okay. Time to cover what Pithole is.
Originally Pithole was just a creek near the Holmden farm in Venango County Pennsylvania.
The name supposedly came from some sulfur smelling holes along the creek. The holes or cracks probably also leaked natural gas into the air since some unconfirmed stories say people get sick or die near the holes. These holes do exist but it is not certain they are the source of the name. Another possibility is pits dug by native Indians, even predating the later Senecas, in order to obtain oil for medicine and rituals.
Things began to change with the drilling of Drake Well along nearby Oil Creek in 1859.
In January 1865 oil was struck in the Pithole area. A town soon sprung up on the location of the Holmden farm and by the end of the year Pithole City had nearly 20,000 people.
By 1868, after the oil flow slowed and many fires burned, Pithole City became a ghost town.
Today a museum is located on the site and signs mark the location of previous streets and buildings. The museum is run by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Drake Well Museum (Pithole.com and the Pithole Hermit are not affiliated with the commission or any state entity).
No buildings are left, but when I was a kid 3rd street hill was great for sled riding. Probably not allowed anymore. I don’t know.
Anyway, site of old Pithole City is about 1.5 miles from my land. Pithole is the largest of many oil boom ghost towns dotting the hills of NW PA. The town of Redhot was less than a mile from my location.
Two good springs are nearby. Hengstler’s Spring on Pithole Rd and a unnamed spring on Pike Rd.
And yes, there’s still oil in them thar hills. Ancient remains of an old pumphouse is in the woods on the edge of my land. And a much newer producing gas well is just down the road.