DISCOVERING BLACK GOLD IN SANTA PAULA, 1860s-1950s
As a result of the Civil War, shipments of oil and kerosene from the east declined and interest rose in finding a source of oil in California. Shown here are Lyman Stewart and Wallace Hardison, who together discovered oil in this area and formed Hardison & Stewart Oil Company in 1883, which later became Union Oil in 1890. Also shown is William Orcutt who grew up in Santa Paula, graduated from Stanford, and was hired by Union Oil in 1899. He made the first geological maps of California's most important oil fields. Shown in the top vignette is Josiah Stanford's inventive effort of tunneling for oil in the Santa Paula hills in the 1860s. Giant mirrors reflected the sun's rays to light the tunnel. Petroleum flowed by gravity out of the tunnels. By 1891, 48 such tunnels had been dug in Santa Paula.