Oil City

Oil City, Alberta, is the site of western Canada's first producing oil well, known previously as Original Discovery No 1, located in WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK. Kutenai had used oil from seepage pools along Cameron Creek and early settlers used it to lubricate wagons. Some wells were drilled in 1891 but it was not until 1901 when Allan P. Patrick, John Leeson and John Lineham (a local rancher) formed the Rocky Mountain Development Co, that drilling began in earnest. Oil was struck at 311 m the following year. Hopes for a local boom were raised, but the well was erratic. By 1906 the boom was over. The site has since been reclaimed and all that remains is a cairn in the shape of an oil rig marking the historic site of this pioneer development in Alberta's oil industry. Oil City was designated as a national historic site in 1968.