There’s oil in those York New Salem hills

John Robinson, the York New Salem, who e-mailed with several queries reminded me of one of his borough’s most interesting stories.
In the early 1900s, some folks discovered oil in their well water.
Some conjectured that New Salem might be sitting on a pool of black gold… .

Workers set up a rig and drilled to the depth of about 900 feet before money gave out and only mud and more mud is discovered.
“Some of our people still have the suspicion,” a New Salem history states, “that the wells were deliberately contaminated to get people to invest in the project, but we will never know.”
Other posts of interest:
- Iron-mine-turned-into-party-spot turned into York County park
- Site filled with wealth of York County geological info.
- Pandemic struck York County in 1849 – gold fever.
- Pan-demic, rather dredge-demic, gold fever strikes York County in 2009.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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2 Responses to There’s oil in those York New Salem hills

  1. Betsy Baird says:

    I used to collect rocks (some are still in my house and in my brain — I MUST get rid of them!). Anyway York New Salem was a prime place for me and my friends. Someone said that there were streaks of real silver in the rocks. I knew there was silver pyrite, or fools silver. I also think there is pitchblend ore there, and know there were some very nice quarz crystals! We had to
    split the one double quartz crystal in half, or a civil war could have started with my one best friend. Dad was building the road between W. College Ave. and York New Salem. That opened the area to us for rock hunting. The one time we saw Dad sliding down the steep hill — no wonder his shoes got so worn out. There was enough iron around there, but not enough (mid-1950′s) to mine. I no longer collect.

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