Friday, January 25, 2008

Drilling for Oil in Jackson and Washington Counties

A little known part of the history of Jackson County was the effort by wildcat drillers to find oil in the region during the years 1915-1925.
The unique land formations in Jackson and Washington Counties led to speculation that they might be "oil domes" containing rich supplies of crude oil. Wildcatters (independent oil drillers) erected large wooden rigs and drilled holes in a number of places across the two counties.
The site of one such drilling operation (pictured here) has been preserved at Falling Waters State Park just across the line in Washington County. Drillers here reached a depth of 4,912 feet before giving up and capping the well. They struck natural gas and found oil, but not in quantities sufficient to meet the standards of the day.
Similar results were reported at other drill sites in both Jackson and Washington Counties. The results of these explorations are interesting, as they did prove that both natural gas and oil could be found in the area.

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