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When Oil Hit Redwater
Redwater & District Museum
Redwater , Alberta

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direction. It was exciting
but scary. It was great for
the people selling land and
making profit and progress."
   This tiny farming
community of about 90 people
would mushroom to upwards of
3000 within three months of
the Imperial Oil Company's
"Discovery Well, Redwater #

1" finding oil. The tiny
hamlet watched in awe as
their community was
transformed overnight. The
pressures on the community
had a profound and lasting
impact.
   Drilling crews rushed to
the area finding
accommodations wherever they

could. The newcomers were
sleeping in cars, tents and
even granaries. Impromptu
eateries were popping up on
every corner. Old streetcars
were hauled into town to
serve as restaurants and
offices for the oil
companies. The face of
Redwater would change

overnight as the quest for
black gold reached a fever
pitch.
   The Redwater Museum would
like to emphasize how a small
community was changed over
night. We hope to record the
recollections of some of
those who were impacted by
the 1948 oil boom. From the

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