Michigan Trip 2008-27
In 1860, State Geologist Alexander Winchell reported that oil and gas deposits lay under Michigan's surface. First commercial production was at Port Huron where twenty-two wells were drilled, beginning in 1886. Total output was small. Michigan's first oil boom was at Saginaw, where production began in 1925. About 300 wells were drilled here by 1927, when Muskegon's "Discovery Well" drew oil men the country over to that field. The Mt. Pleasant field, opened in 1928, helped to make Michigan one of the leading oil producers of eastern United States. Mt. Pleasant became known as the "Oil Capital of Michigan." Efforts of the industry itself resulted in excellent state laws regulating petroleum output. Well depths range from 1,000 to 6,000 feet. New wells are constantly opened as exploration continues.