Healdton Oil Museum
315 E. Main Street
Healdton, OK 73438-1836
Manager: Melanie Williams
|Mon - Fri||9am to 1pm|
Healdton Oil Museum
Through artifacts and photographs the Healdton Oil Museum tells the story of oil development in Carter County and life in the bustling oil boomtowns.
The Healdton Field
The opening of the Healdton oil field in 1913 set into motion one of Oklahoma's greatest oil booms. By 1937 this field, the largest of nine such fields located in Carter County, had produced over 2 million barrels of oil, making it one of the most productive pools in the state. The first successful well was completed in August 1913 at the depth of only 920 feet. Oilmen streamed into the area as word of the discovery spread. By June 1914, an estimated 120 oil companies were actively searching for oil around Healdton. The shallow depth of the oil bearing sands attracted smaller operators. The shallow depth reduced the amount of capital necessary to drill a well. This gave the Healdton area a reputation for being a "poor man's" field. The low cost of drilling in the Healdton field attracted a large number of Oklahoma investors. Among those establishing a financial base through Healdton oil were Lloyd Noble, Wirt Franklin, Robert A. Hefner and former Governor Charles N. Haskell. Also in the Healdton field, Erle Halliburton perfected his methods of oil well cementing, establishing his company as a leader in oilfield technology.
The massive influx of oil field workers gave rise to boomtowns. These hastily constructed centers of oil commerce were plagued by a lack of housing, poor sanitation, and regular meal service. They also served as a haven for bootleggers, gamblers and prostitutes ever willing to separate the oilfield worker from his pay. Most of these towns ceased to exist when drilling activity ended. However, a few endured and became viable communities.
During the 1920s and 1930s the oil rich sands of Carter County began to be depleted. Today the area remains an active producer, however, due to advanced recovery and deep drilling techniques.