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Andrew Carnegie and the Columbia Oil Farm
William Story Farm
The New Pittsburgh Owners
Columbia Farm
Carnegie's First Visit to Oildom
Carnegie's Pond
The Columbia Oil Company
Brass Band
The Earnings
Wells and Operations
Carnegie's Departure
Trivia (?)
Concluding Remarks

Columbia Farm

The Pittsburgh group gave the name Columbia Farm to the property. This name, striking a popular and patriotic vein, lent a measure of prestige to the farm. They decided to form a joint stock company known as the Columbia Oil Company and accomplished this in May, 1861. It had a nominal capital of $200,000, and shares were issued. When the money was in hand, the new company purchased the farm from the original Pittsburgh group.

Among the original group was William Coleman, an iron manufacturer and neighbor of young Andrew Carnegie in Homewood. Coleman undertook to promote the Columbia Oil Company and invited Carnegie to travel with him and have a look at Oil Creek. The offer was accepted. This inspection of the new field in 1861 turned out to be at least one of the strokes of fortune that would eventually catapult Carnegie into bridges, iron and steel and other giant enterprises. Andrew Carnegie became an early investor in oil and was able to buy 1000 shares of stock in the Columbia Oil Company.

© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
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