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".
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05/08/2020
03/26/2020
Pioneer Oil Days

Pioneer Oil Days

The Bolivar Lions Club is sad to announce we will be canceling Pioneer Oil Days this year. This decision was not made lightly but we believe this is the best course to take for our community this year. With so much uncertainty related to our health, our economy, and our ability to gather together as a community, this was the only course to take. Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, participants, and community members for all of your support in previous years. Pioneer Oil Days will be back next year and we hope to see you all there!

Bolivar's Michael Schaffner and his in-laws hit it big on national TV.  His father-in-law built the MASH-like signs on d...
03/24/2020
Page A2

Bolivar's Michael Schaffner and his in-laws hit it big on national TV. His father-in-law built the MASH-like signs on display at the Hahn & Schaffner site of the Pioneer Oil Museum. Congratulations to Mike, his wife Meg, and the entire Brown family.

Click here to view this item from oleantimesherald.com.

The next time that you see an incredible bronze sculpture just think that the oil from out region could have played a ro...
02/18/2020

The next time that you see an incredible bronze sculpture just think that the oil from out region could have played a role in its creation.

Treat your valentine right!
02/13/2020

Treat your valentine right!

12/26/2019
Mobil 1

Did you know that Mobil has its roots right here in NY?

Starting out as the Vacuum Oil Company in Rochester, the company moved to Olean NY in 1890. The Mobilgas and Mobiloil trademarks came along in 1899.

Visit the Pioneer Oil Museum for this and other local history that helped change the world.

#newyorkstate #upstateny #newyorkgetaways #iloveny #porsche

‘Tis the season for a full synthetic oil change? More than 1 million Porsche engines trust Mobil 1™ motor oil. Shouldn’t you?

Today's Olean Times Herald has a nice article about the grant that we received from the Allegany County Area Foundation ...
12/16/2019

Today's Olean Times Herald has a nice article about the grant that we received from the Allegany County Area Foundation to help pay for the fantastic new timeline that was installed last June. Many thanks to the ACAF for its support!

When you shop today on Cyber Monday, or when you shop during the rest of the Christmas season, please remember that you ...
12/02/2019
Support Pioneer Oil Museum of New York Inc by shopping at AmazonSmile.

When you shop today on Cyber Monday, or when you shop during the rest of the Christmas season, please remember that you can help support the museum simply by using Amazon Smile. It's the same thing as shopping with Amazon, but it provides monetary donations to the museum. Just click the link below, select Pioneer Oil Museum as your charity, and begin to shop. In the future, just go to AmazonSmile and shop; it's as easy at that. Thank you 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.

If you’re watching the parade today you may have just seen a local, the Sinclair dinosaur!  When Sinclair was looking fo...
11/28/2019

If you’re watching the parade today you may have just seen a local, the Sinclair dinosaur!

When Sinclair was looking for a way to market their Wellsville made Pennsylvania Grade (NY pumped) Opaline Oil they created the famous Sinclair Dinosaur just for those Wellsville made products. It later became the logo for the entire company.

The Seneca Oil Spring just west of Cuba Lake - a July visit in  2016
11/22/2019

The Seneca Oil Spring just west of Cuba Lake - a July visit in 2016

The Seneca Oil Spring just west of Cuba Lake - a July visit in 2016

11/22/2019
Gary Harms #2

Another view of Gary Harms and his recent donation to the museum.

11/22/2019
Gary Harms Donates an Engine to the Museum

Below is a video of Gary Harms running the engine that he donated to the museum this week. This makes three engines that he donated this summer. We thank him for his support.

It's hard to believe, but people are beginning to shop for Christmas already.  While costing you NOTHING, using AmazonSm...
10/16/2019
Support Pioneer Oil Museum of New York Inc by shopping at AmazonSmile.

It's hard to believe, but people are beginning to shop for Christmas already. While costing you NOTHING, using AmazonSmile is like a Christmas present for the museum. It's a great way to support the museum, so please use this while doing your shopping.

Use the link below to access our AmazonSmile account. Click the banner and follow the directions.

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

The Museum lost one of its closest friends and supporters this week.  Rob Eberling, a local oil producer who lived in Ro...
10/03/2019

The Museum lost one of its closest friends and supporters this week. Rob Eberling, a local oil producer who lived in Rochester, passed away after a sudden illness.

Rob pumped a lease in Richburg and was involved with oil production in other areas. He loved the museum and was the impetus behind the museum's purchase and development of an outdoor exhibit at the Triangle #1 site. He was full of ideas and energy and will be greatly missed by the Museum.

We're in the process of converting an old pipe threading building at the Hahn & Schaffner site to a replica nitroglyceri...
10/02/2019

We're in the process of converting an old pipe threading building at the Hahn & Schaffner site to a replica nitroglycerin factory. The first picture shows what the interior looked like before we owned the buildings, and the second two give you an idea of what it looks like now.

The next step is to paint the interior and pour a new concrete floor. After that - lots of large photos along with some audio and video displays. Finally, an interactive exhibit that will allow you to pretend to make nitro. We can't wait to get it finished.

The Museum is now closed for the season, but this doesn't mean that we won't be available to entertain visitors througho...
09/30/2019

The Museum is now closed for the season, but this doesn't mean that we won't be available to entertain visitors throughout the fall. Please call the museum at 585-610-2038 and leave a message. If you prefer, e-mail us at [email protected].
We had a great year! Thanks for your interest and support.

The Museum will be open from 10:00-4:00 today.  If you're looking for something to do on this last unofficial day of sum...
09/02/2019

The Museum will be open from 10:00-4:00 today. If you're looking for something to do on this last unofficial day of summer, feel free to stop by.

The Museum will be open through the month of September, closing on Sunday, September 29. Take a ride on the beautiful early fall days we're sure to have.

The Museum recently installed the new "Welcome to Bolivar" sign on Rte. 417 as you're entering the village coming from O...
08/15/2019

The Museum recently installed the new "Welcome to Bolivar" sign on Rte. 417 as you're entering the village coming from Olean. The new sign replaced an old one that had hung there for many, many years.

Bolivar New York Fan Page
08/03/2019

Bolivar New York Fan Page

As long as there's a Pioneer Oil Museum in Bolivar, these two departed gents will be smiling from one of its walls. Through all their retirement years, from the late '70s toward the turn of the century, RAY PAYNE and his buddy DICK FITCH helped keep the Main Street museum rolling.

Ray was the eternal optimist, the can-do tinkerer, and Dick was an affable "solutions man" in his own right. They both dedicated many hours, days and months to keeping the doors open, welcoming visitors with local history chat, enhancing the displays and "digging up interesting old junk" that belonged in an oil museum.

If you didn't know Ray and Dick, you would have liked to.

The ghostly apparition partly seen between them in the plexiglass is the photographer, yours truly. That's appropriate because in those decades my home off the dead end of South Street was between their homes - Ray's down the street, Dick's to the rear on the corner of Olean and Davis. Many a walk in either direction was paused for an update from one or the other, and I welcomed their ceaseless interest in the POM and Bolivar history during my years of overseeing the museum.

- Tom Manning

Stop by the museum tomorrow, July 4, as we will be open on a limited basis.  While you're there, check out the working m...
07/03/2019

Stop by the museum tomorrow, July 4, as we will be open on a limited basis. While you're there, check out the working model recently donated by Chris Kellner.

We would like to thank all of the families who were there for our 2019 wall of fame introduction.We could tell you about...
06/28/2019

We would like to thank all of the families who were there for our 2019 wall of fame introduction.

We could tell you about how great these men were, but it’s always better to hear it from their friends and family members.

Thanks to the BRCS first- graders for visiting the museum on Tuesday.  We learned that oil is very important in our live...
06/28/2019

Thanks to the BRCS first- graders for visiting the museum on Tuesday. We learned that oil is very important in our lives because it is made into plastic. We also found out that oil is used for make-up, along with many other items we use everyday. We "shot" a well and watched the oil (really iced tea) come up out of the top of the well.

Our fourth and final inductee to this year's New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame is Raymond (RB) Moor...
06/26/2019

Our fourth and final inductee to this year's New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame is Raymond (RB) Moore. Many locals remember his name from the community swimming pool (picture of the Moore's private pool below), but he was also a very successful oil producer, as well as a generous philanthropist.

RB Moore was a graduate of Bolivar High School and Westbrook Business Academy in Olean. He was engaged in local oil business in both Moore Producing Company and New York Oil Company. Additionally, he operated R.B. Moore Oil Well Supply Store in Bolivar and was an influential organizer and director of the Allegany Refiners Inc., located in Bolivar. RB was a member and trustee of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bolivar. He held membership in Olean Council, No. 338, Knights of Columbus and the Fourth Degree Assembly. He served as a member of Olean Lodge No. 491, Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks. In his spare time he was a member of the Bolivar Country Club. RB traveled extensively including one trip to Europe and England, and he took one worldwide cruise, in addition to numerous other trips to locations around the world. He took two years to completely remodel and landscape a Bolivar residence including construction of a private swimming pool and a fishpond. The residence itself is now Schaffner Funeral Home in Bolivar, and the pool is the Moore Memorial Pool, a public facility serving the Bolivar community. He was known as an extremely generous contributor to numerous charitable and community enterprises, including St. Mary’s Church in Bolivar and St. Bonaventure University.

Pioneer Oil Days started off Sunday with a tractor pull that was attended by both young and old.  The museum's Hahn & Sc...
06/25/2019

Pioneer Oil Days started off Sunday with a tractor pull that was attended by both young and old. The museum's Hahn & Schaffner site was the perfect venue for a perfect day.

The third inductee into this year's NYSOPA Wall of Fame is Grant Wisel from Shinglehouse.  Over the years there were num...
06/23/2019

The third inductee into this year's NYSOPA Wall of Fame is Grant Wisel from Shinglehouse. Over the years there were numerous people from that area who worked in the local oilfields, and Grant was just one of them.

Grant Wisel was a graduate of Shinglehouse High School before joining the U.S. Army during World War II and attaining the rank of sergeant. In the local oilfields he worked as construction foreman for Messer Oil Company for 44 years. He also worked as bank courier for CoreStates Bank. Grant was a member and deacon of First Baptist Church in Shinglehouse. He was a member, past master, and treasurer of Sharon Lodge No. 598 F&AM of Shinglehouse. He also was a member of Coudersport Consistory, past sovereign prince of Coudersport Council of Princes of Jerusalem, and member of Coudersport Royal Arch Chapter No. 263. In the Shinglehouse area Grant was a 50-year member of American Legion Post No. 530, a life member of Shinglehouse Volunteer Fire Department, and member and past director of Shinglehouse Volunteer Ambulance Association. Finally, he served as a supporter of both Custer City Men’s Club and Oswayo Valley Men’s Prayer Breakfast, as well as chairman of the Shinglehouse Community Emergency Fund.

Our second NYSOPA Wall of Fame inductee is Thomas R. Crowley.  Many Bolivar-area people remember the Crowley name becaus...
06/19/2019

Our second NYSOPA Wall of Fame inductee is Thomas R. Crowley. Many Bolivar-area people remember the Crowley name because of Bob (RT) and his daughter, Noreen, both legendary teachers in Bolivar. But the Crowley family was also well-known in the local oil industry with several family members involved in the business. (The photo shows Tom and his wife Noreen, for whom Noreen Crowley Ferris was named.)

Thomas R. Crowley was a graduate of Bolivar High School and Westbrook Business Academy in Olean. He was engaged in oil production enterprises in New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Texas. Locally he was an owner of Crowley Oil Company. He served the area community as a trustee of St. Bonaventure University, vice-president of Bolivar First Trust National Bank, and member and trustee of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bolivar. He was a member of the Olean Elks Lodge and the Knights of Columbus and served as president of the Bolivar Country Club. Additionally Tom was a club member at both the Wellsville and Bartlett Country Clubs. He spent time as part of both the Buffalo Trap and Field Club and the Olean City Club. He spent his summer months as a member of the Cuba Lake Cottage Owners’ Association.

Take a look.  The Museum has had some wonderful renovations taking place.  We hope that everyone stops by to see the upd...
06/17/2019
Renovated Pioneer Oil Museum set to welcome visitors during Pioneer Oil Days

Take a look. The Museum has had some wonderful renovations taking place. We hope that everyone stops by to see the updates and changes.

Pioneer Oil Museum board members and volunteers moved hundreds of tools, wood and glass displays, image boards and one-ton machines into storage last winter to make way for cleaning, painting

The annual New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Friday, June 28.  M...
06/17/2019

The annual New York State Oil Producers' Association Wall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Friday, June 28. Make to come out that night for the ceremony and the wine-and-cheese tasting that follows.

The first individual that we honor is Melford "Coon" Taylor, well-known in these parts. He attended area country schools before working for both Empire Oil and Gas Company and Bradley Producing Company. Later he worked as a self-employed oil producer. Eventually he was employed by Otis Eastern Company from which he retired. Coon was a member of Alma United Methodist Church. He was a member and past master of Macedonia Lodge No. 258 F&AM of Bolivar and a member and past patron of Buttrick Chapter 109 Order of the Eastern Star of Bolivar. He served as district Grand Lecturer for Allegany District Order of Eastern Star. Coon received numerous awards as a member of the Corning NY Consistory, and he served as a member of the Ismailia Temple of Buffalo, the Allegany County Shrine Club (and past president), and the Amaranth Friendship Court 59.

It's getting close to Pioneer Oil Days, and we're trying to get the signs welded and attached to poles for the museum's ...
06/13/2019

It's getting close to Pioneer Oil Days, and we're trying to get the signs welded and attached to poles for the museum's version of a "MASH sign." The photos show some of the signs, in addition to some of the work being done in preparation for installing them.
The liquid in the cans near the welder are used solely for cooling the metal. 😆

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.

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395 Main St
Bolivar, NY
14715

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Pioneer Oil Museum

The Pioneer Oil Museum, begun in Bolivar, New York in 1965, is a repository for artifacts used in the oil businesses found throughout Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties in southwestern New York State. Included in this collection are early drilling tools and oilfield service tools, as well as antique oilfield engines, model rigs, and other oddities. A comprehensive array of photographs complements the collection, which dates from the 1870’s to the present.

This region was where Europeans first sighted oil on the American continent. In 1627, a group of local Indians led French missionary Joseph De La Roche D'Allion to Seneca Oil Spring in nearby Cuba, New York. His writings were the first recorded mention of oil in North America. Also some 100 miles to the south is Titusville, Pennsylvania, the site of the nation’s first major oil discovery.

A significant amount of the Museum’s focus is dedicated to the “Oil Boom” which hit Bolivar and neighboring Richburg on April 27, 1881, transforming this pastoral valley of some 450 contented people into a boomtown of more than 10,000 people in a matter of just a few weeks. Photos and other displays highlight this event, which was to forever change the complexion of this valley.

The Museum, housed in a building constructed in 1851 and eventually becoming McEwan Brothers Oilfield Supply store, is located in downtown Bolivar in the heart of the “Allegany Oil Field.” These nearby oilfields are the northernmost extension of the nation’s oldest oil-producing region: northwestern Pennsylvania. For over a century the “Penn Grade” fields of Appalachia have been the source of the world’s finest lubricating oils. The Museum’s goal is to save and continue the legacy of the local petroleum industry, as well as remember those men and women who were (and still are) the backbone of this amazing history.

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Valvoline East Butler, PA Refinery 1907. Fired up July 4th 1907 - Second Refinery for Valvoline. Butler Eagle July 7 1907.
Are you open today or any day this week?