One more look at The Oil Boom which was at its height 55 years ago, in 1964. This week I want to share some of the accidents that happened at that time.

Oil caused many problems for Cardington’s volunteer firemen during the oil boom and it still causes some problems for them in the 21st century.

It was just a month after the first drilling rigs moved into Cardington in 1964 that the first incident occurred. It was Sunday afternoon, Feb. 9, a drilling rig struck a natural gas pocket at the north end of town on U.S. 42. Firemen secured the scene for three hours while the gas escaped under pressure into the atmosphere.

Three days later an oil field supply business on West Main Street was destroyed by fire.

On March 2, fire destroyed a field office at a well site just north of the corporation. It was the third alarm in this vicinity answered by firemen in 60 days.

On May 15, fire in a separator threatened a battery of six oil tanks behind a home 500 feet north of town on Route 42. Although it was touch and go for a time, four fire department working together prevented the blaze from entering the residence.

Late on a Saturday in February, 1965, an explosion and fire destroyed an office trailer and shed at a well site two miles east of Cardington on State Route 529 The oil drilling firm’s records were lost in the blaze. Fire Chief Leonard Benson estimated the loss at $4,000.

Early on Easter Sunday, 1965, an explosion and fire zipped through the McWood Corporation’s gas scrubbing plant on Cardington Township Road 128. Firemen from three departments put themselves at great risk for three hours while battling this fire. Two rotary drilling rigs in Cardington toppled over early in 1964.

In March, a rotary drilling rig on West Main Street suddenly collapsed around 3 am, landing on a telephone cable and knocking out phone service in that section of town for awhile.

Later, a rotary drilling rig operating in the backyard of a Moukntt Gilead home toppled over in high winds. One man was slightly injured.

Population growth in Cardington during the boom years was estimated by the Ohio Department of Development as ranging in 1960 from 1,600 to nearly 1,800 in 1964. By the end of the 60s it had decreased to 1,700.

I have much to share on those “boom” days in Morrow County. Some day in the future, I will return to those days when oil was consistently the county’s best news story in 1964.

News from 70 years ago, July, 1949: Al Curtis opened his automobile repair garage on Second Street.

60 years ago: 1959: The Home Town Carnival, featuring an ox roast, celebrated its second anniversary on July 9-11. The headline entertainment was by Bonnie Lou and Zeke and Slim, stars of television’s “Midwestern Hayride.”

50 years ago, 1969: Morrow Countians were glued to their TV sets Sunday, July 20, along with the rest of the world to watch an Ohio astronaut, Neil Armstrong, take the first step onto the moon.

40 years ago, 1979: Denyse Wilhelm, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wilhelm of Cardington, and a junior at Asbury College, Kentucky, spent the month touring Germany.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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