In May 1899, Thomas A. Means owned the land where James and Jonathan Elwood discovered oil on the North Bank of the Kern River. They used a hand auger under the edge of the cliff checking for oil, and later moved to the top to drill. Oil surfaced from 256 feet, on July 26, 1899.
You can see the Discovery Well, capped in red, behind the dedication plaque. The Kern River Field has been the longest producing in the nation - over 100 Years.
As the Standard Oil Company grew in Kern County, a pipeline was constructed between here and the Pt. Richmond Refinery across from San Francisco.
Standard Oil Company of California later changed its name to Chevron USA, Inc. The exploration department was located at 2401 N. Chester Avenue (see below) and can still be seen at 3311 Manor Street.