Petroleum

Do you ever have those days where you have so many things on your To Do list that you decide to chuck it? That’s exactly what I did on a mild December Saturday. The sky was blue with lingering rain clouds, too wet to do anything outside but I wasn’t in the mood for housework. I ended up in Allen County looking for an old Greek Revival that I’m almost certain has been torn down but all was not lost because I stumbled upon the little community of Petroleum. When I initially saw the sign, I thought there must be a gas station, never thinking that was the actual name of the community. You find these little unincorporated villages scattered throughout Kentucky and Tennessee but never a lot of information and this place was not an exception. What information I did find is that there are oil springs in the area and was the source of Allen Counties’ first discovery of oil in the 1850’s. They would gather it by placing a blanket on the surface in order to soak it up and then wringing it out. At some point, there was some prosperity here as indicated by the houses, even though most are in need of restoration. The building being utilized as a car lot looks like it might have been a school. I also saw the remnants of an old railroad bridge but couldn’t find a place to pull over in order to take a photo. There was at least one person of note from here, Henry Bandy, 1876-1943, who was a “display fiddler” at the Grand Ole Opry .

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