mckenzie well

Colo. Hwy. 119 near Independence Rd. National Register 1/26/2005, 5BL.418

The McKenzie Well was the site of the 1901 discovery of the Boulder Oil Field, the first discovery of oil in the multi-state Denver Basin.  Florence driller Isaac Canfield  noticed Boulder’s typography was similar to Florence.  Oil seeps and petroleum odors abounded, and Canfield pinpointed the first oil source using a dowsing rod.  This is the same Isaac Canfield that had started a coal mine just west of Erie in a community named after him.

Boulder soon became Colorado’s second successful oil field after Florence Colorado.  The field reached its peak production in 1909 with an annual output of 85,000 barrels of oil.  The Boulder Oil Field is one of the oldest producing fields   The McKenzie Well, also called the McKenzie #1, was drilled in February 1902.  This single remaining well was one of the two earliest commercial producers in the field.