When Oil Derricks Ruled the L.A. Landscape


cities history

Beachgoers frolic beneath the gaze of oil derricks in Venice.

Through much of the 20th century, oil derricks towered over homes, schools, golf courses, and even orange groves across the Los Angeles Basin, once among the nation’s top-oil producing regions. Beginning in 1892, when Edward L. Doheny and his associates opened the region’s first free-flowing well, each new strike would quickly attract a cluster of the wooden structures, which supported the drills that bored deep into the Southland’s sedimentary strata.

When Oil Derricks Ruled the L.A. Landscape, Nathan Masters in Lost L.A.