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Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Bolivar is situated in the Southern Tier, near the Pennsyvania border. I knew that this region was where the oil and gas industry got its start in this country, but I didn't make the connection. At the turn of the last century this area was the center of the petroleum industry, so naturally it had a state of the art transportation infrastructure. It is interesting to contemplate this-- I'm sure most people have wondered what happens when the oil runs out, before they shake their heads and decide that thinking about it is too unpleasant. Well, here's an example of what happened in one place that had an extraction based economy that wrapped up: it turned into a pasture. This building is now a roller rink (or it was, before last week). Bolivar is the kind of town that doesn't have a McDonald's, but it has a pretty little golf course, and there are still people living there, doing whatever people who live in small towns do. It may be that when the rest of the oil is gone it will make economic sense to come back to Bolivar and extract whatever remains-- a hundred and fifty years after its glory days, a final burst of economic activity, before it reverts to woods and fields once and for all. Posted by Picasa

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