Pithole is a ghost town in western PA about 50 miles east of the Ohio border, between Erie and Pittsburgh. Today all you will find is a museum, an old school house and a couple of picnic areas. But back in 1865 Pithole was a boom town that grew from four log cabins in May 1865 to a city of 16,000 by the end of that summer. In just a few months there were 64 hotels, banks, brokers, churches, a post office, a telegraph office, 300 saloons and just as many prostitutes. In less than two years it was virtually abandonned.
Pithole was fueled by the birth of the oil business a few years after Edwin L. Drake struck oil in 1859 in Titusville, PA., just a few miles north of Pithole. For about a year and a half Pithole was a very busy place but once oil could be transported by pipeline instead of in barrels it was all over. The next towns to see action were Petroleum Center, PA which is now part of Oil Creek State Park and Oil City, PA which was the home office of Quaker State and Pennzoil until recently.
The biggest attraction to Pithole now is the first weekend of trout season, the first day of buck season and keg parties by local teens. There is a great hill near the museum that is a popular sled riding spot in the winter. There is little evidence over a hundred years later that there was ever anything else there.