John Vonderlin: The Oil Field in the Redwoods of La Honda

Story by John Vonderlin
Email John ([email protected])
Hi June,
   Meg was reading the thick and slick, years-in-the-making Draft Report from Mid-Pen about their decades long future development plans for the La Honda properties and noticed a paucity of information about the La Honda Oil Fields, which are on their properties.  She mentioned it to me and after reading a paragraph from the Draft online, ( where they said there was anecdotal information about production from the wells I reviewed the info I had gathered.  Somebody didn’t do their research, that’s for sure, as there is an incredibly detailed report online by geologist Scott Hector all about the fields, their yearly production of oil, gas and water over a 25 year period, and much, much more The report on the Zamora and La Honda Oil Fields is #Tr30 at the following URL:
   As long as I was examining that subject I grabbed a few related articles from the Newspaper Archive. This one from the February 6th, 1896 issue of “The Call,” discusses the oil boom that was beginning on the Coastside, including Half Moon Bay. There are a number of names I’m looking at in this article that hopefully will lead to interesting threads. Enjoy. John
Thirteen Grants Recorded
in Favor of the Cali
fornia Company.
Terms Upon Which the Drilling
and Operating Contracts
Are Drawn.
Prospects Favorable for Striking
a Good Flow at Half
moon Bay.
REDWOOD CITY, Cal., Feb. 5.—Thir
teen oil and gas grants have just been
placed on record, which have been as
signed to the California Natural Gas and
Oil Company, and apply to 2082 acres of
land on the coast side of San Mateo
The contracts are drawn so that the
party of the first part grants all the oil
and gas in and under the described prem
ises, together with the exclusive right of
the second party to enter therein for the
purpose of drilling or operating for oil,
gas, water, etc., on the following terms:
Should oil be found in paying quantities
upon the premises the second party agrees
to deliver to the first party, in the pipe
line or at the wells, the one-sixteenth part
of all the oil produced and saved from
said premises.
If gas only is found, second party agrees
to pay $10 to $50 each a year for the prod
uct of each well while the same is being
used on the premises, and the first party
shall have gas free of expense to light and
heat the dwellings now on the premises.
There is a clause which provides that if
no well is completed within one year from
date of agreement then the grant shall be
come null and void unless the second party
shall pay to the first party the sum of ($lO
to $100 are the amounts named in the pre
sent instance) for each year thereafter that
such completion is delayed.
. These grants were all issued about nine
months ago in favor of E. J. Beane, his
heirs or assigns, and they have been
assigned by Beane to the California Gas,
Oil and Land Company, a corporation, of
which L. L. James, 419 California street,
San Francisco, is secretary.
The company is now sinking a well on
the San Francisco Savings Union Tract at
Halfmoon Bay. It is reported that they
are down 700 feet and that there is a
seepage of one and a half barrels of oil a
day and a flow of gas. The prospects of
striking a good flow of oil are considered
very favorable.
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