Prior to the foundation of the town of Brea, the now forgotten town of Olinda was created and occupied by the workers who arrived to pump oil from the earth as the 19th century gave way to the 20th. And the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail, that occupies a 12-acre park, documents and commemorates those workers and recreates the environment of the turn-of-the-century oil boom. The museum, which is located in the former field house that was built in 1912, features numerous historical artifacts, documents and photographs all related to extracting the black gold from the ground.
The park was
created in 2003 after real estate developers deeded the 12 acres to the city in
return for being permitted to build a local housing development and the museum
and trail were developed shortly after.
The museum traces the early beginnings of the oil boom and the
subsequent development of the town of Olinda during the late 19th
century. The first well in the area went
into operation (Olinda Oil Well #1) in 1897, is still pumping oil to this day
and is on display for the public. Other
items of note on display are a jackline pump that powered many of the wells and
the original records vault.
trail takes hikers past vintage oil equipment, a 1924 Ford Model T Truck and
numerous markers and interpretive signs that relate the history of the fields
and the people who worked them. It also
offers panoramic views of Orange County and the adjacent Chino Hills State
grounds and trail are open daily from 9:00-4:00 and the museum is open on
Wednesdays from 10:00-2:00, Sundays from 12:00-4:00 and by appointment for group
tours. Admission to the grounds and
museum are free. However, donations are
accepted and greatly appreciated.