The City of Oil City, the City of Franklin, and Cranberry Township have joined together to form Venango Area Heart & Soul.
Venango County, in Northwestern Pennsylvania, is the historic home of the oil boom that changed the world. In the mid-1850s, natural oil was discovered here, leading to an explosion of prosperity. Thanks to George Bissell and Edwin L. Drake, who successfully used a drilling rig in 1859, the first oil well was drilled near Titusville, just inside the Venango County boundary. This single well quickly surpassed the total oil output of Europe since the 1650s. Soon, oil derricks sprung up all over the area, transforming towns like Franklin and Oil City into thriving oil boom communities.
But Venango County is so much more than its oil heritage. It’s a place known for its breathtaking scenery, tight-knit community, and affordable cost of living. Living in Venango County means embracing the charm of a small town while avoiding the drawbacks of city life. Residents say goodbye to high living costs, noisy streets, long commutes, pollution, and high crime rates. Instead, residents experience the best of both worlds by enjoying the local art, food, recreation, and shopping, all while having the option to explore nearby cities.
Historically, Venango County has been a hub for manufacturing, reflecting the skilled and motivated labor force here. The private sector, retail, and tourism industries are also thriving, providing a diverse array of career opportunities. As the second largest industry in the state after agriculture, tourism plays a significant role in the local economy, along with healthcare and education.