Near Penrose in Fremont County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Arkansas River Valley
Alexander Cassidy dug a twenty-three-foot-deep oil well near here in 1862, making this Colorado's first oil-producing region. Cassidy and others spent nearly two decades plumbing the hollows and seeps, sure that a major source lurked somewhere nearby. It did — more than 1,000 feet down. Drillers reached it in 1881, and within a decade nearly 400 producing wells dotted the hills around this area. Output peaked in 1892 at over 824,000 barrels, making the field an important part of Colorado's economy. Though production has declined over the years, the wells maintain a slow but steady flow. Well 42, tapped in 1882, still brings forth a trickle — the nation's longest continuously producing oil well.
The Arkansas Valley boasted one of Colorado's finest orchards, planted near here in 1859. The future, however, lay in manufacturing plants, not fruit-bearing ones. Coal, iron, calcite, silica, limestone, gypsum, gold, and other treasures streaking the surrounding hills, and all came by freight to Cañon City and Florence, whose downstream locations and good rail access made
Erected by Colorado Department of Transportation; Colorado Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Industry & Commerce.
Location. Marker has been reported damaged. 38° 26.193′ N, 105° 6.576′ W. Marker is near Penrose, Colorado, in Fremont County. Marker is on U.S. 50 0.2 miles east of Phantom Canyon Road, on the right when traveling west. Marker is on pullout across from Fremont County Airport. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Penrose CO 81240, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Corrections Capital (here, next to this marker); Arkansas Valley Country (here, next to this marker); The Royal Gorge (here, next to this marker); Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition (approx. Cramer School (approx. 3.1 miles away); James A. McCandless House (approx. 3.2 miles away); Early Agriculture & Ranching (approx. 3.2 miles away); Florence's Beginnings (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Penrose.
More about this marker. Rattlesnake activity in the area.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 17, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 44 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 17, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 3. submitted on July 20, 2020. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.