The derrick is located on a site on West Main which was donated in a lease basis by the Socony Mobil Oil Co. It was erected by Jack Murray of Hoisington.
Plans for the near future include a building around the base of the derrick to house the C of C office and part of the museum. To date, specific plans are not complete, but it is hoped that a large display building can be built. Willis Phelps heads the museum committee, made up of members; Press Hamby, Clearance Dean, Oscar Brown, Roy Eckel, and George Wingerson.
The Oil Museum will tell the story of oil from the beginning to end - through all the stages from exploration to processing to the consumer. Pictures, displays, samples and equipment will be shown, along with some miniature pumping units of the various oil companies. Later, displays of new and antique will be added.
This museum, if construction proceeds as planned, will be the first of it's kind as far as anyone knows. Upon completion the oil museum should prove one of the outstanding factors in the advancement and progress of Hill City, and the support, help and donations of Hill Citians, as well as the various oil companies, will be greatly appreciated.
Hill City Oil Museum Will Be Top Tourist Attraction
The Hill City Oil Museum has a good start with the derrick already erected and plans going ahead for enclosing the base of the derrick.
Shares in the project will be sold by committee members and other interested persons, so that the office can be finished, displays arranged, and souvenirs made ready for sale. These shares will sell at $25.00 each and will not be donations. However there already have been several donations and they are always acceptable and appreciated.
the first part of the project is completed, sale of the souvenirs will
provide an income to pay off the shares and start the big display building.
The office and big exhibit building is to be started this weekend if weather permits.
Construction will be frame with asbestos siding. An office 19x25 feet will house rest rooms, storage and office under the derrick. The big exhibit portion of the building is to be 26x50 feet.
McFadden and Walker of Hill City have contract for construction and Ivan L. Welty, local engineer, drew plans for the museum.
Completion of the project is expected within a couple of months and exhibits will be in place shortly thereafter. The drive for funds, by selling non-profit shares has gone well with a little over half the needed amount paid or pledged.
The building is completed and all ready for exhibits to be installed. It will be open to the public in a few weeks, in fact visitors are already stopping in to see "what's happening."
Formal opening date is May 3, 1958 and it is hoped that all the exhibits will be in place by that time.
Plans for the Museum were started in may, 1956, when George Wingerson presented the idea to directors of the Hill City Chamber of Commerce.
Cement walks are being run this week, grass and trees are to be planted this spring. There will also be some outdoor exhibits - and signs to direct tourists to the Hill City Oil Museum, only one of its kind in the world.
© 1997 Graham County Historical Society
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