Dig planned for Fredonia gas well site

As part of ongoing efforts to attain historic site status for the first natural gas well in the nation, community members in Fredonia will hold an archaeological dig this upcoming weekend.

Mark and Michelle Twichell, gas well site owners, promoted the event during a recent Fredonia Board of Education meeting. They invited the public to the dig, which is slated for Friday and Saturday at the gas well, located at 85 W. Main St. in the village.

“Michelle and I are members of the Hart Gas Well Committee, which is a citizen’s group here in Fredonia dedicated to achieving historic site status for what we all know is the first gas well in the United States, but in truth is really the first petroleum well in all of western history,” Mark explained. “Now, we have applied to the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation to attain this status. As part of the application, in conjunction with the National Fuel Corp. and the State University of New York at Buffalo Department of Archaeology, we are sponsoring an archaeological dig.”

The excavation is the first time such an event has occurred in Fredonia since the 1970s, Mark noted. He added it would be an excellent opportunity for students and other community members to observe such an activity and learn about the history surrounding the gas well.

The site will be secured by a fence during the dig. The hope is to discover some relevant archaeological remnants that could help in attaining historic site status for the gas well.

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