From Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig:

The “Oil and Gas Boom, Mercer County and Midwest Ohio”  book will be available Sunday September 27, and October 4, 2020 at the Mercer County Historical Museum.

The new book, “Oil and Gas Boom, Mercer County and Midwest Ohio,” by Joyce L. Alig, President Mercer County Historical Society, will be available for the early customers for the pre-publication price of $45.00 at the Mercer County Historical Museum, 130 East Market, one block east of the Courthouse, Sunday afternoon, 1:00 – 4:00, September 27.  For those who are unable to pick up their copy on September 27, the books will be available at the Museum, at $45.00 on Sunday, October 4.

This book of 252 pages includes 60 color pages, plus a Hard Back Gloss Laminated Cover of 24 chapters about oil and gas wells of Mercer, Auglaize, Van Wert, and Darke Counties, Ohio, and Jay County, Indiana, and on the Reservoir of “Off Shore Oil Wells.”

Off-Shore Oil Wells features “Never-before told history “of the 1889 plat map of the Mercer County Reservoir (Grand Lake), with the plat map sections identifying the names of the owners of land in each section of land around this Lake.  Yes,  you can easily find  your own relatives who owned land along the shore. . . which first held the off-shore oil wells when the lake flooded during high water in February 1887.  See the photographs of the oil wells and the lake shore and maps throughout this book.  In the late 1880’s, oil wells which had been drilled along the lake shore, followed by flooding when the level of water on the lake rose, those oil well derricks were “under water,” i.e. “Off Shore Oil Wells.”

The State of Ohio immediately recognized the opportunity to add money to their treasury, and in 1888 ordered a detailed “Survey of the Reservoir” because it was a part of the “State-owned” Miami & Erie Canal System.   Next, on March 7, 1892, The State of Ohio began to hold Court at the Fountain Hotel at St. Marys, against the owners of oil wells on the lake, without having leases for oil wells.  You will have to read the Senate Joint Resolution No. 8, which is about 47 pages long, to see what happened!  This story is included in this important Ohio History book, because it is a strong part of the History of Grand Lake!

The Petroleum History Institute gave permission for the  “Early Drilling and Oil and Gas Production in and around Grand Lake, Ohio (1886-1911)” and “Trenton Limestone Oil and Gas Boom of Northwest Ohio,” by Jeff Spencer, President, for their November 1, 2017 “Oil-Industry History,” academic publications to be a part of this historic book.  The American Oil and Gas Historical Society reviewed this story on the Internet, and in this book.  “Windfall Films, London,”  requested permission for this story to be included in their 2009 film, “Big, Bigger, Biggest,” for the “National Geographic Documentary.”

This history of the oil and gas wells is written within the context of local history, within the local communities.  Local Newspapers documented the events of the time period.  Graduate and Under Graduate History Instructors will do well to learn about the influence of the oil and gas boom, during the era of the railroads which crossed the Midwestern States.  Historians will better understand the rise and fall of the early Post Offices and the growth of the economy in business and industry within the communities.  The Bibliography of resources for information will help future historians.  Eight pages of Index of local names in this book, “Oil and Gas Boom, Mercer County and Midwest Ohio,” is the quickest way for families to find their own names in this book.

The Mercer County Historical Society has published over thirty history books. 

This book, “Oil and Gas Boom, Mercer County and Midwest Ohio,”  is among the best!

[Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883, or  or 419-678-2614]