Pioneer Oil Museum of New York

Pioneer Oil Museum of New York The Pioneer Oil Museum is located in what used to be the McEwen Brothers Oilfield Supply Store, in the heart of the old "Allegany Oil Field".

If you're looking for something to do this Friday night, and you either enjoy art or love the people of Bolivar (or both...
05/23/2019

If you're looking for something to do this Friday night, and you either enjoy art or love the people of Bolivar (or both), come to a local artist's exhibit.

BRCS grad and current Alfred University student, Chloe Kottwitz, will exhibit her collection of photos that highlight people that grew up in Bolivar and still live here today. She has some wonderful photos of many Bolivar natives.

Check out the poster below - Friday night at the museum's Hahn & Schaffner site from 6-8:00.

We're working hard to get ready to open for another season.  Volunteers have been cleaning and reorganizing the displays...
05/13/2019

We're working hard to get ready to open for another season. Volunteers have been cleaning and reorganizing the displays. Old dated exhibits have been transformed into new display banners. The gray banner has the same information as the old yellow display.

Thanks to Mr. Margeson and his students for taking on this project.  The museum will have a different look this year.
04/20/2019

Thanks to Mr. Margeson and his students for taking on this project. The museum will have a different look this year.

01/16/2019
Plants and Goodwin, Inc.

Keep up the good work!! Hope to see some drilling videos soon.

Rig 12 is running a tailored cement plug on a Marcellus gas well in Central Pennsylvania. Hard to believe the Shale Revolution is now old enough to see its earliest wells being plugged!

Do you buy to much off Amazon? Want to feel better about doing it while supporting local history at the same time?  Anyt...
01/09/2019
Support Pioneer Oil Museum of New York Inc by shopping at AmazonSmile.

Do you buy to much off Amazon? Want to feel better about doing it while supporting local history at the same time?

Anytime that you use this link to shop on Amazon a small portion of your purchase will be donated to the museum.

Use this link when you buy everyday items or when you buy useful things like a model pump jack.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/16-6011251

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to Pioneer Oil Museum of New York Inc. Support us every time you shop.

Want a way to support the Pioneer Oil Museum in Bolivar, NY? If you shop online at Amazon, use the link below to access ...
12/27/2018
Support Pioneer Oil Museum of New York Inc by shopping at AmazonSmile.

Want a way to support the Pioneer Oil Museum in Bolivar, NY? If you shop online at Amazon, use the link below to access our AmazonSmile account. AmazonSmile donates a small portion of every purchase to a selected charity - in this case the museum. When you click on the banner below, it will take you right to "smile.amazon.com." Thanks for your support.

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to Pioneer Oil Museum of New York Inc. Support us every time you shop.

Inquiring minds want to know what is going on with the Main Street Museum.  Are we closing up for good?  NO!  Are we mov...
12/05/2018

Inquiring minds want to know what is going on with the Main Street Museum. Are we closing up for good? NO! Are we moving everything to the Hahn & Schaffner site? NO! Have we moved everything out of the front room on Main Street to paint and update that location? YES!!!! Check it out.

11/11/2018

As boys they scaled standard rigs, as men they parachuted into Europe. As soldiers they set dynamite charges on dams and bridges, as veterans they trucked nitro and shot oil wells.

We owe our veterans for more than just their service to our country!

We proudly displayed this in our museum for manny years.
11/10/2018
Bolivar Legion discovers WWI monument

We proudly displayed this in our museum for manny years.

BOLIVAR — This Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and while most veteran’s organizations are remembering,

Who can tell us what this is?
10/24/2018

Who can tell us what this is?

This summer we acquired the Rumsey engine collection owned by Keith Rumsey of Friendship.  These machines were built by ...
10/04/2018

This summer we acquired the Rumsey engine collection owned by Keith Rumsey of Friendship. These machines were built by his grandfather and used for a variety of purposes. The green and white combination of pieces was an early vacuum cleaning system, and these pieces were actually used in the Bradley House on Boss Street.

Bolivar New York Fan Page
09/27/2018

Bolivar New York Fan Page

,*** A Pioneer Oil Museum update on the museum's updating of its Main Street building. ***

Since autumn 2018, the original 'POM' location's interior (corner of Liberty Street) has experienced a brightening and whitening, and a revamp of many displays, as these two photos illustrate. Contractors cleaned and painted its walls and display backings, and commercial artists created large new "banners" telling the history of oil in the Bolivar region. For a closer look, just open the photos.

If you haven't been inside recently and can get to the Pioneer Oil Museum / Main Street, take the time to visit this summer and support a great community and regional resource. Kudos to Kelly Lounsberry, the POM trustees and the volunteer staff for moving the museum to "the next level."

[TomM]

~~ This POM album contains images of our local heritage repository and the community events sharing its name since the 1970s, adding to Bolivar's unique character. ~~

09/02/2018

If you're out and about and want something to do on Labor Day, stop by the museum where we'll be open all day from 10:00-4:00 as normal.

Also, due to the efforts of our volunteers, we will stay open an extra five weeks closing for the season on Sunday, October 7. Many thanks to all of them for their help and dedication to the museum!

If you're out and about and want something to do on Labor Day, stop by the museum where we'll be open all day from 10:00...
09/02/2018

If you're out and about and want something to do on Labor Day, stop by the museum where we'll be open all day from 10:00-4:00 as normal.

Also, due to the efforts of our volunteers, we will stay open an extra five weeks closing for the season on Sunday, October 7. Many thanks to all of them for their help and dedication to the museum!

08/23/2018
Western New York Gas and Steam Engine Association

If you're not sure what a Band Wheel power is, this video opens with an overhead shot of one working.

These 20 foot wide (giant wagon wheels) were once used to pump oil wells all over our region.

Get a bird's eye view of what to expect at the 2018 WNY Gas & Steam Engine Show, happening September 6 - 9!

Recently the Pioneer Oil Museum received an unusual equipment donation.  Richard Frost donated an engine and generator u...
08/08/2018

Recently the Pioneer Oil Museum received an unusual equipment donation. Richard Frost donated an engine and generator used by the Hatch and Frair Drilling Company in the Deer Creek/Coon Hollow areas from the 1920's until 1949. This engine/generator combo formed a portable, electric power plant that was housed in a "dog house" (a weatherproof tin shed) and skidded from location to location used for rig illumination. (Retired local oilmen Ted Grover and Joe Bucher are seen taking a look at the donation in one photo.)

Many thanks to all of our friends and supporters who showed up at last Friday's New York State Oil Producers' Associatio...
06/27/2018

Many thanks to all of our friends and supporters who showed up at last Friday's New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame induction ceremony and the wine and cheese tasting that followed. There were approximately 180 people in attendance that night, making for a wonderful event.
We also thank the families of the four inductees for attending and for their help honoring their family members.

The food  is prepped and the wine is ready to be corked, we are ready for a wine tasting!
06/22/2018

The food is prepped and the wine is ready to be corked, we are ready for a wine tasting!

06/22/2018

The main st museum is open right now through tonight if your looking for a trip though history that involves both engines and explosives!

Don’t forget that the museums annual Wine and Cheese event is tonight starting at 6:30. Tickets are $17.00 and will be...
06/22/2018

Don’t forget that the museums annual Wine and Cheese event is tonight starting at 6:30.

Tickets are $17.00 and will be available at the door.

This is a wine tasting event and all glasses will be under 50cm.

The fourth and final member of this year's New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame is Arthur Yahn, Sr.  H...
06/20/2018

The fourth and final member of this year's New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame is Arthur Yahn, Sr. He was a highly influential producer in the local oil fields in the early part of the 1900's. The induction ceremony this Friday night is open to the public!

Arthur Yahn, Sr. graduated from Westbrook Academy in Olean. Starting in 1906 as a “runner”, he was associated with the First National Bank for over half a century. Later he was promoted to assistant to the president of the bank in 1915, becoming a director in 1921. Eventually he took over the reins as chairman of the board for six years. Arthur was director and president of Messer Oil Company beginning with the company’s organization in 1929. In due course he became president and director of Dymo Oil Corp. as well as president and director of Laurel Petroleum Corp., a subsidiary of Dymo. Later he became a director of Producers Gas Company. Arthur was engaged in the production of crude oil and natural gas for 40 years, and he is credited with developing the first five-spot method of oil recovery by water flooding in the Pennsylvania and New York oil fields. His efforts were instrumental in the passage of legislation in Ohio resulting in legalization of secondary recovery by water flooding methods. Arthur was highly involved in the community as a member of numerous civic and social clubs including the Olean Knights of Columbus and Olean Elks Club.

Don’t worry, that tractor is old enough to consume alcohol.
06/17/2018

Don’t worry, that tractor is old enough to consume alcohol.

Lads and ladies, start your tractors!
06/17/2018

Lads and ladies, start your tractors!

Good morning! The sun is up and we are ready for a tractor pull! As we kick off Pioneer Oil Days
06/17/2018

Good morning! The sun is up and we are ready for a tractor pull! As we kick off Pioneer Oil Days

It's getting close!!!  This Friday will be the New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame induction ceremony...
06/16/2018

It's getting close!!! This Friday will be the New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame induction ceremony as well as the museum's annual wine and cheese extravaganza. The festivities begin at 6:00 so arrive early.

The third inductee into the Wall of Fame this year is Jim Beckwith.

Jim Beckwith attended Shinglehouse High School, and for most of his life he was employed in the local oil fields. Jim worked for Quaker State for 33 years, retiring in 1990. He was the foreman for Quaker State’s South Bolivar station where he held a crucial job as he was responsible for all oil produced from 1950-1984 getting to the Myrtle Pump Station. He attended Grace Bible Independent Baptist Church in Shinglehouse. Among his hobbies were going for rides in his car looking for “game” and working on various types of word puzzles. Jim was an avid hunter, and in the summer quite often he was found outdoors keeping his yard meticulously mowed.

Last weekend the Chautauqua Lake Region chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America visited the museum.  We spent ...
06/16/2018

Last weekend the Chautauqua Lake Region chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America visited the museum. We spent time at both the Main St. and Hahn & Schaffner sites and met a lot of friendly people. Many thanks to that group for visiting and spending a good amount of time with us.

The second inductee into this year's New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame is Henry "Hank" Lindquist, a...
06/08/2018

The second inductee into this year's New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame is Henry "Hank" Lindquist, a legend in the Bolivar area for many years. How many people remember him from the school's bus garage? Come to the induction ceremony on Friday, June 22 to join the festivities.

Henry “Hank” Lindquist attended school in both Bolivar and Little Genesee. At the age of seventeen he began work in the local oil fields for Messer Oil Company leading to a lifetime of self-employment in the local fields. Later in life he worked at Bolivar Central School as head of transportation from 1959-1977. Hank eventually worked for Industrial Patterns Inc. in Bolivar. A member of the congregation of Faith Bible Church for many years, he helped build the structure that today houses that church in Little Genesee. He and his wife were members of the Enchanted Mountains Square Dancing Club. Hank owned two Model A and one Model T antique cars that he loved showing off, and he repaired antique clocks as a hobby.

We recently had the "Shaner Exhibition Building" cleaned and stained, hoping that this will preserve the structure for t...
06/03/2018

We recently had the "Shaner Exhibition Building" cleaned and stained, hoping that this will preserve the structure for the foreseeable future. We couldn't have undertaken this renovation project with the support of Lance Shaner, for whom the building is named. Without the support of all our benefactors, projects like this couldn't get completed. The photos show the back of the building in the before, during, and after stages.

Once again this year, the Pioneer Oil Museum will host the induction ceremony for the New York State Oil Producers' Asso...
05/30/2018

Once again this year, the Pioneer Oil Museum will host the induction ceremony for the New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame The ceremony takes place on June 22, and the first inductee is Don Miller.

Don Miller was a graduate of Bradford Area High School. After graduation he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, completing 35 missions over Europe and earning various commendations. Don began work in the Bradford oil field as a teenager with his father, and after the war he worked with his father and later with his son, Tom, in oil production. He was a member of both the Bradford Fireside Pumpers and the Pennsylvania Independent Petroleum Producers Association (PIPP), from which he received the Sucker Rod Award in 2014. He was a member of the American Legion Post 892 in Allegany and VFW Post 1619 in Olean. Additionally he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Olean. Don was a parishioner and trustee of Sacred Heart Church in Knapp Creek, and he and his wife were long-time supporters of St. Bonaventure basketball, as they were season ticket holders for 65 years.

05/28/2018

There has been a lot of innovation that’s has come out of our local oil fields. Innovation made possible because people were free to own their own business, free to innovate, free because so many put their life on the line so that others could have that freedom. Today we remember those who died earning that freedom, a freedom that allows us all to prosper.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the supportive mothers who played both mother and doctor to sons who went into the oil field...
05/13/2018

Happy Mother’s Day to all the supportive mothers who played both mother and doctor to sons who went into the oil field at dark and came out at dark.

Within ten months after the April 1881 oil strike, Bolivar had become a boom town of 4500 excited oil seekers, and combi...
04/29/2018

Within ten months after the April 1881 oil strike, Bolivar had become a boom town of 4500 excited oil seekers, and combined with the population of nearby Richburg, the entire valley had exploded from around 500 inhabitants to some 12,000 fortune seekers. Business thrived in both communities, and along with the good came the bad that was so representative of any “boom town.” Oil fortunes were made or lost overnight due to gambling with the oil industry or gambling at the card tables.

An 1882 Bolivar business directory listed the following: 28 hotels, 17 lodging houses, two railroads, two express companies, telephone and telegraph offices, an opera house, a bank, a newspaper, nine oil well supply dealers, 10 real estate firms, an iron works, 35 contractors and builders, 14 blacksmiths, eight lumber dealers, two coal dealers, 20 painters and paper hangers, 10 oil well shooters, 27 tank builders, three nitroglycerin dealers, a photographer, four water well drivers, three plumbers, seven tank shops, four laundries (two Chinese), six livery stables, a horse doctor, a grist mill, and two hay and feed dealers.

There were also six clothing stores, five hardware stores, five general stores, three dry goods stores, six milliners and dressmaking shops, four tailoring shops, four tobacco shops, four meat markets, three drug stores, three shoe stores, three confectionary shops, two jewelers, two furniture stores, two harness shops, two junk dealers, and an undertaker. Professionals included eleven attorneys, seven doctors, and a dentist.

Amazingly, a similar list could be found in Richburg just 1 ½ miles to the north!

The photo shows a quiet Main Street Bolivar in 1875, just six years before the boom.

It all started 137 years ago tomorrow - an oil well was completed that changed the course of history in the Bolivar-Rich...
04/26/2018

It all started 137 years ago tomorrow - an oil well was completed that changed the course of history in the Bolivar-Richburg valley. Article below from "The Rise and Fall of Richburg" in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle from 1897.

"In the morning of April 27, 1881, a well was completed on the hill above Richburg that started off at 400 barrels a day. It was known as the Boyle well and was the key to a rich field.

Oil scouts who had been watching developments closely, rode with all haste to the railroad towns over the hills and the wires carried the news of the big strike to the newspaper offices. The next day people in all parts of the country knew that a new oil field had been opened. Then began a wild scramble for leases, and oil operators from the Pennsylvania regions flocked across the state line in droves, anxious to secure a slice of the new Eldorado."

Good chance the crude used to make this fine lubricant came out of our oil field.
04/17/2018

Good chance the crude used to make this fine lubricant came out of our oil field.

This is why antique two stroke's needed carbon cleaned and spark plugs changed often. It's "good" for 4 cycles too!

It's difficult to believe, but in just over two months, it will be time for Pioneer Oil Days.  It will be a great week a...
04/14/2018

It's difficult to believe, but in just over two months, it will be time for Pioneer Oil Days. It will be a great week at the museum with the tractor pull, NYS Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame induction, and the parade. This year something new will be added to the wine tasting - a variety of hard ciders, some of them locally produced at Cider Creek in Canisteo. We can't wait for the fun to begin!

Rodney (Stub) Sisson will not be remembered as an oil man but in many ways he was.  Growing up both of his grandfathers ...
01/15/2018
Rodney E. "Stub" Sisson's Obituary on Olean Times Herald

Rodney (Stub) Sisson will not be remembered as an oil man but in many ways he was. Growing up both of his grandfathers had leases, his father pumped and drilled, as well as most of his uncles. Stub saw it all, he watched one grandfather use horses to pull wells, not that he didn’t have a tractor, he just preferred using horses. At family gatherings there was one uncle who lost his hand when a pulling pull broke, and another uncle who lost a leg when the power house engine he was starting kicked back. Stub left the oil fields for other work at a young age, but he always kept that oil field ingenuity being able to figure out and fix almost anything. He never stopped running equipment, he just went form pulling wells to digging foundations, ponds, and always ready to help someone in need. Like a good oil man he never stoped working, even at 82 he worked everyday. Stub was our living encyclopedia on the history of the Clarksville oil field and he will be missed.

http://m.legacy.com/obituaries/oleantimesherald/obituary.aspx?n=Rodney-E-Sisson-Stub&pid=187807051&referrer=3050&preview=True

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | WEST CLARKSVILLE - Rodney E. "Stub" Sisson, 82, of 8789 Daggett Hollow Road, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday (Jan. 9, 2018) at Buffalo General Hospital. Born on Aug. 19, 1935, in West Clarksville,

Address

395 Main St
Bolivar, NY
14715

Opening Hours

Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(585) 610-2038

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