A B O U T
From fossils to fill 'er up, the California Oil Museum tells the story of the black bonanza that created wealth, work, and prosperity for generations of Californians. The Museum highlights the inner workings of the state's black gold industry through interactive displays, videos, working models, games, photographs, restored gas station memorabilia, and an authentic turn-of-the-century cable-tool drilling rig.
Visitors can exercise their wits and luck as California wildcatters, see how Native Americans used natural oil seeps, watch a miniature drilling rig bore into the earth, and explore the memorable brands of gas bought by early California car drivers.
Housed in the original Union Oil Company building the museum offers docent-led tours of the upstairs where restored offices from the 1890’s provide visitors with a personal, hands-on experience of the early California oil business. Visitors can enjoy one of the largest displays of vintage gas pumps in California.
In addition to the permanent petroleum exhibits, the Museum presents new exhibits of science, transportation and history throughout the year. Lundgren Park and Courtyard is located on the Museum grounds and is available for picnics.
The California Oil Museum Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. EIN# 45-3830307.
D I S C O V E R
The California Oil Museum is housed in the original Union Oil Company Building, built in 1890. Originally, the Union Oil Company offices were located on the second floor of the building, while the Santa Paula Hardware Company and Post Office was located on the first floor. The main headquarters eventually moved to Los Angeles in 1900. In 1950, the building was established as the Oil Union Oil Museum. For its 100th year anniversary, the upstairs offices were restored to resemble it's original appearance and open for public viewing.
Also, the Museum's Rig Room contains a 1890's oil rig that has been salvaged from local oil fields and restored to working condition. Today the Museum offers self-guided tours of the ground level, Docent-led guided tours of the renovated 1890's offices on the second floor, and school tours and workshops.
E D U C A T I O N
Visit the Lab
Experience the fun world of science, rocks, minerals, fossils, renewable energy, and more! The California Oil Museum's beloved Education Program offers tours and workshops for schools and home school groups, summer workshops, and also provides a place to learn and explore the wonders of science in our new Energy Education Lab. Visit the Education Program page to schedule a field trip, or visit the Energy Education Lab and plan your next visit to the museum!