First Oil Well in Western Canada
About this Historical Site
In 1901 John Lineham brought his Rocky Mountain Development Company to Waterton. He started drilling along the shores of Cameron Lake in November and hit oil 10 months later at a depth of 311 meters. This was the first producing oil well in Alberta and it became known as "Oil City", with rigs, a bunkhouse and dining hall, cabins and even the beginnings of a small hotel. Plans were made for a complete town site as well as delivery of the continuous flow of black gold. Neither happened as the exploration crew hit bad luck and production was significantly less than expected.
The dream that would become Oil City vanished into the wilderness until 1968 when the site became Waterton's first National Historic Site. Today, you can experience a taste of this history as you wind your way up the Akamina Parkway to Cameron Lake. You'll pass the solitary monument dedicated to the historical significance of this site and get a glimpse of Waterton's remarkable and varied history.