Drilling for Black Gold in the Los Angeles Oil Field, 1890s

Los Angeles and Oil Field. Not two concepts you would put together today, but I do find these old photographs absolutely fascinating.

The Homestead Blog

by Paul R. Spitzzeri

As mentioned in the first installment of the “Drilling for Black Gold” series, the origins of greater Los Angeles’ oil industry were in the mountains in present-day Santa Clarita starting in 1865.  F.P.F. Temple, son-in-law of the Homestead’s owner William Workman, invested heavily in projects in that area with his Los Angeles Petroleum Refining Company having limited success before the failure the Temple and Workman bank in early 1876 ended his involvement.

Later that year, Star Oil Company hit a gusher in what was then known as the San Fernando oil field.  A decade later, William R. Rowland, the son of the other owner of Rancho La Puente, John Rowland, and his partner William Lacy successfully located oil wells on part of Rowland’s land on the rancho and launched the Puente Oil Company.

The early 1890s brought two new players into the regional oil game.  Edward…

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