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The Drake Chapters
Introduction to the Drake Chapters
The Beginning of the Petroleum Industry
Oil Creek Before Drake's Well
Refining Seep Oil
Chemical Report of Seep Oil
Pinched Noses
Other Predicaments
Drake's First Visit to Titusville
Drake Commences Work at the Seep
Drake's Well
First Production
Petroleum Geology of the Drake Sand
Drake's Other Wells
Dismantling of the Derrick
The Deepening of the Drake Well
Among the First Players
Drake's Tomb

Drake's Tomb

Dying in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1880, in relative obscurity, Drake's body was exhumed and brought to Titusville where it was re-interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in 1902. This was the beginning of the long overdue recognition for Drake. It took place in the valley where he made his great contribution to the oil industry.

Henry R. Rogers, Standard Oil executive, erected an impressive monument to Drake in the cemetery. The entrance road from Rt. 8 leads directly to the tomb. Drake and his second wife, Laura Dowd Drake, are buried in front of a semi-circular monument, of which the center pavilion-like section protects a magnificent bronze sculpture.

A moving tribute to Drake is incised in the stone panels. Among the words are statements such as:

...."Called by circumstances to the solution of a great mining problem, He triumphantly vindicated American skill and near this spot Laid the foundation of an industry."

The above lines remember Drake's invention of the drive pipe.

All oilmen at one time in their careers should visit this site in Woodlawn Cemetery and read the prose dedicated to Edwin L. Drake, oil pioneer. It will give you pride in the great industry that you work for and in its history.

The Drake Tomb, Woodlawn Cemetery, Titusville, Pa. Drake was reburied here in 1902 (stone in foreground). His second wife, Laura, who died 36 years after Drake, is also buried here. The panels are inscribed with prose explaining Drake's trials and tribulations. One line, referring to oil, is as follows: ...."enriched the State, Benefited mankind, Stimulated the mechanic arts, Enlarged the pharmacopoeia...."
Outstanding bronze sculpture by Charles Henry Niehaus, erected in 1901 at the tomb. It is a tribute to Drake. The title is "The Driller" and represents man's effort to extract natural resources from the earth's strata.

© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
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