PCO Hill


Pacific Coast Oil Company became the majority owner of California Star Oil Works in 1879. Thus, CSO still gave the CSO name to their wells, mostly on CSO Hill. The PCO name was applied to most of the wells on this hill, hence the name PCO Hill.

There are a lot more artifacts here then are on CSO Hill. However, with one exception, the artifacts are not very rare or unusual. As with the CSO Hill, I had a constant battle with ticks.

Remember, it is illegal to remove any object from Pico Canyon (and the other canyons).


PCO Hill from CSO Hill. View toward the east. The lower road (out of view) does a sharp turn to the upper road. At the top of the hill you can just see some zig-zags from old oil roads.


Soon after you start hiking up PCO Hill there is a turnout with this metal ladder. There used to be a large water tank here and the ladder was attached to it.


Among the hardware here is a jackline ring, a broken jackline hook, and what looks like a broken wrench.



There are a couple of jackline hooks in this picture



Here are some wooden tank hoops and a pumping well adjuster


Here's a roll of belt. Belts were strung between the engine and the "power" at a jack plant.


This looks like a twisted iron sucker rod



This is the largest artifact I found. It appears to be the leg of something large. I dug this much out but could not move it at all. I did not have the right tools to dig further, so I buried back to the way I found it.


Here is a close-up of the bottom of the leg


Interesting unknown object


These appear to be sucker rod joints for wooden sucker rods


Casing clamps


Complete bull wheel brake band with staple on one end and the brake lever on the other. This is the only one I found in Pico Canyon. In Elsmere Canyon I found about five of them.


Near the above brake band, were these sucker rods. These were the only sucker rods I found in Pico Canyon.


Lunkenheimer gas valve. On the other side it says "125 SP, 200 GLP"


More hardware


This is a wing gudgeon. One was placed at each end of a wooden shaft. The butt ends of the shaft were mortised so that the wings could be inserted leaving the cylindrical parts of the gudgeon projecting from each end of the shaft.


Other side of gudgeon showing broken off wing


Closer view of pulley from above photo


Two more jackline hooks with a ring


Jackline support with a ring


Here is a burned up wooden jackline support with the jackline still stretched out


This cable loop has been created with an extremely strong piece of hardware with three bolts. The cable was probably helping to support a derrick.


Here is a 16 inch crown block pulley in very good condition. The crown block was at the top of the derrick.


Plenty of wildflowers on PCO Hill


Here is a horned toad. I saw a few of these on both hills. This one looks a little concerned about me.


Here is a different horned toad. This is a Coast Horned Toad with nice red horns.


Here he is getting ready to leave


Lizard with unusual forked tail (9/22/2015)


A snake laying on the hill next to the road


I put my watch down near him and he still didn't move. The temperature was over 100 degrees so, as long as I didn't bother him, he evidently wasn't going to move.


Here is a close-up of his head. He looks like a California Stripped Racer.


I put this cap filled with water next to his mouth and he actually seemed to drink a little. At least it looked like he took some gulps. Here he has had enough.


Five ticks heading up my pants. If you hike off of the road, these guys are a constant threat. Wear long pants and always check them for ticks after you brush up against a plant.