Col. Edwin Drake Memorial, Woodlawn Cemetery

892 W. Spring St.
Titusville, Penn.

Year Built: 1901

Built in 1901. Colonel Edwin L. Drake was the man who first successfully devised a way to drill for oil, thereby creating the foundation of an industry that built many of the towns in the Titusville region of Pennsylvania. Drake was a close associate of H.H. Rogers of Standard Oil Fame. Drake died a poor man in spite of having learned how to drill and Rogers donated $100,000 for the design and construction of this memorial in grateful recognition and remembrance of Drake's contribution to the oil industry.

The cut stone monument to the "oil discoverer" has two Ionic columns framing a niche in which is a bronze statue of The Driller. On each side is a curving bench with a high back. The niche is flanked by two columns and a low wall containing six inscription panels that describe the accomplishments of Drake, founder of the petroleum industry. On the far left end of the wall is a relief of a shrouded female figure holding a wreath, and on the far right end of the wall is a relief of a shrouded female figure holding an urn.

Drake's body with that of his wife lie in a vault beneath a simple slab in front of the memorial.

The statue of “The Driller" was sculpted by Charles H. Niehaus and cast by J. Williams, Inc. of New York City.


References

• "A New England Architect and His Work," Oscar Fay Adams, New England Magazine, June, 1907 (illustration of the Drake Memorial). http://www.millicentlibrary.org/brigham.htm

• Picturing a Crude Past: Primitivism, Public Art and Corporate Oil Production in the United States, Ross Barrett, Journal of American Studies, Vol. 46, No. 2, Oil Cultures (May 2012), pp. 395-422.

• “Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State,” 1940.

• Quarterly Bulletin, American Institute of Architects, 1908.

• Titusville Herald, October 5, 1901, reporting on the unveiling of the monument.

• New York Times, March 2, 1901, editorial.


Images




"Driller" in Bronze, designed by Charles H. Niehaus





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