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
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.