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“State of the Art Museum for PA History”
Review of Drake Well Museum

Drake Well Museum
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Exhibits, operating oil field machinery and historic buildings honoring the beginning of the modern oil industry.
Reviewed October 13, 2016

We visited the museum on Columbus Day. Admission was $10 for adults and $5 for age 3-11. We were instructed to head to the main museum building for an introductory video. Another museum visitor had gone in just before us and started the video (the attendant said we'd already missed too much of that showing) so we milled around the entry area for about ten minutes waiting for them to finish. It seemed like we wouldn't get anything out of the museum if we skipped the video.

I would recommend skipping the video.

Only 1/3 of the film was about Drake and oil. It was narrated by a cartoon oil droplet and a cartoon natural gas droplet. The jump to natural gas wasn't really explained other than to say that PA is still drilling today for natural gas instead of oil. (My inner cynic says the museum renovations were funded by Range Resources). The movie had high production quality. It was not captioned and some of the characters spoke in funny voices that were hard to understand. Overall it came off like non-renewable resource propaganda. Oil makes Nascar possible, etc. At the beginning and the end water is sprayed without warning, not even one of those "you will get wet" signs. It was definitely geared toward young children.

After the movie, we were free to explore the museum. It is fabulous, filled with interactive displays, loads of dioramas, and hours worth of exploring if you're the type to read every sign.

Outside there's a park-like setting with fourteen buildings to visit. One is a replica of the original oil derrick. It recirculates oil to give the impression it's still pumping. There are picnic benches and a picturesque stream. We saw two deer walk through the stream which was lovely.

There are bathrooms everywhere. A big win when you're travelling with kids.

Overall the place is a worthwhile stop for both PA history and a look into where the country's oil boom began. It's gorgeous in the fall.

3  Thank Joey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"oil industry"
in 24 reviews
"steam engine"
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in 4 reviews
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in 3 reviews
"interactive displays"
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"natural gas"
in 3 reviews
"oil creek"
in 8 reviews
"oil drilling"
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in 4 reviews
"gift shop"
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"couple of hours"
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24 - 28 of 101 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2016 via mobile

This is a nice museum for the whole family. Great history lesson on the birth of our oil story. $10 adult admission but I thought it was worth it. AAA discount so bring your card.

Thank firefighter4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2016

The Museum is a great tour for all ages you can walk and explore where the very first oil well was discovered and find out why Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone State,and how people of the oil region lived and worked before,during and after the Oil boom..You can also walk threw a periodic correct replica of the original oil well that produced the first barrel of oil...There are also have Car Shows,picnic areas,Bike trail,and places to fish,or just enjoy the beautiful countryside enjoying the various Birds,picture taking,or relaxing with your favorite book while enjoying the sounds of the historic Oil Creek...I would recommend this for Family vacations,Group outings,School Trips,or just a relaxing day...

Thank Herman1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2016

I have wanted to go there for several years. I always wondered how the oil well and its collection happened. I visited the site and it is well worth going to. The site is very clean and well maintained. I toured the collection of exhibits and found them very interesting. It is well worth visiting. It went in detail how Drake started it all and how the area became a short lived boom town.It would be a good place to bring the family and have a picnic and relax.

Thank joseph h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 24, 2016

The museum is full of information about the area, Drake himself and oil/petroleum in general. It is very interesting and there is a lot to see. There is also a lot to see outside as well. The grounds are very well kept. When you pay your admission at the gift shop, you are given a paper that has a map and description of each of the outdoor exhibits. More signs outside each exhibit would be nice to describe what you are looking at.

There are admission discounts available for AAA members and military. We each saved $2 of the $10 admission with our AAA card.

The 20 minute video wasn't worth our time. We were expecting an informational video about Drake and the area, but it was more about oil, petroleum and what is made from it. It was interesting, but we would have rather spent the 20 minutes exploring the museum. There are many "hands on" exhibits which are fun.

Definitely give yourself a few hours to see everything. The museum and gift shop close at 4:45 p.m. but the outside grounds remain open, with the exception of the transportation building.

Recommended if you are in the area.

1  Thank Christine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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