In 1899, Milton McWhorter struck oil sand while hand-digging a pit on the north bank of Central California's Kern River, near what is now the Town of Oildale. Nineteen days later and several hundred feet from this "Discovery Well," Milton's son Horace struck oil again, at 265 feet. Since then, the high-quality oil bubbling from this first commercial well and the hundreds of other wells that have gushed forth throughout the valley has been a fountain of prosperity for Oildale and its neighboring communities.