Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Pioneer Oil Refinery 1876:
By The American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
September 27, 1975.


The economic situation in the whale oil business (used for lighting) coupled with the increased demand for lubricants, spurred the development of the petroleum industry in the United States The giant leap forward took place with the commercial development at Titusville Pennsylvania in 1859. This was followed some 17 years later with the building of the Pioneer Refinery at Andrew's Station (Newhall) California, the first successful commercial refinery in the West, embodying developments introduced since the Titusville discovery. The Pioneer Refinery served the Western Market for some 15 years until it too, gave way to technical progress.

The restoration of the two largest stills have a capacity of 150 barrels per day each, was undertaken by Standard Oil Co. of California in the 1930s. The site is open for the public to enjoy and to look on the days when the industry was in its infancy. It is located off Pine Street, Newhall.

The remaining equipment of the Pioneer Oil Refinery are shown in the following series of photographs.

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