It was a hot September day in 1876 when Charles Alexander Mentry brought in California’s first
commercially viable oil well. The location was Pico Canyon, 35 miles north of Los Angeles in the western Santa Clarita Valley.
Oil was piped six miles east to California’s first successful refinery in present-day Newhall
and shipped out by rail. Eventually
the Pico oil works were folded into John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co. of California.
Production slowed in the late 1920s but didn’t entirely stop until 1990. When finally capped,
Mr. Mentry’s discovery well was the longest continually producing well in the world.