L.A.’s Backyard Oil Well Fever!

Oil fever!  It’s hard to imagine today, but starting in 1892 until its peak in 1901, there were over 1,000 oil derricks west of downtown Los Angeles crowding the neighborhoods of Elysian Park, Echo Park, Westlake, and Mid-Wilshire west to Vermont Avenue.

LA Oil Fever

As featured in my new book, “Greetings from Los Angeles,” derricks and oil storage tanks were mere feet from homes, churches, stores, and schools.  Often there were two or three derricks on one 50 x 150 foot residential lot.

Neighborhood Oil Wells

By the time the oil field was mostly depleted nine years later in 1901, many investors and homeowners had become rich.  As the Los Angeles derricks were taken down, others would soon appear in Signal Hill, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs, Huntington Beach, and Venice, as major oil strikes in the 1920s and ’30s made the region among America’s top oil producers before World War II.

About Peter Moruzzi

Author and historian Peter Moruzzi is passionate about the middle decades of the 20th century: its nightlife, classic dining, and architecture. Born in Concord, Massachusetts and raised in Hawaii, Moruzzi graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and later attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. In 1999, he founded the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom) an architectural preservation group. He is the author of "Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground," "Palm Springs Holiday: A Vintage Tour From Palm Springs to the Salton Sea," "Classic Dining:Discovering America's Finest Mid-Century Restaurants," "Palm Springs Paradise: Vintage Photographs from America's Desert Playground," and "Greetings from Los Angeles." His latest pictorial history, "Greetings from Las Vegas" will be available in September, 2019.
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1 Response to L.A.’s Backyard Oil Well Fever!

  1. luz@calientetropics.com says:

    Hello Peter :)I love your work, I actually have your web saved on my favorites on my phoneHow exciting to meet you, Hope to hear from you soon or stop by and visit….Happy Wednesday,Luz Luz GonzalezGeneral Manager411 E Palm Canyon DrivePalm Springs, CA 92264P:760.327.1391F:760.883.5751Luz@calientetropics.com 


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