800 Barrels A Day!

150 Years Ago This Hour!

At about 4 PM, on Friday, November 23, 1866 the largest flowing well ever drilled in Petrolia was struck by Capt. Bernard King, manager of the North Eastern Oil Co.

The well initially flowed at least 800 barrels per day and with no tanks prepared to hold it, the oil soon covered the ground and filled a small nearby creek with over a foot of oil.

News of the strike did not filter out until the next day. Capt. King telegraphed the news to St. Catharines, where the company was based and the principle investors were from.

Over the next few weeks, the news spread far and wide and a succession of newspaper articles appeared, describing the incredible flowing well that helped establish Petrolia as the “Petroleum Capital Of Canada” for the next four decades.

kings-well-sign-cap_1
Petrolia150 interpretive sign now displayed near King’s Well on Discovery Ln.

Over the coming days, I will post – in more or less real time – various newspaper accounts of the well as they originally appeared…

Enjoy the ride, on Petrolia150, as the most consequential three weeks in Petrolia’s history play out, exactly 150 years later…

[Cover photo shows King’s derrick on the north half of Lot 11, Con. 11, from a survey completed just before the flowing well was struck. North is to the right, as is Discovery Ln. (Blind Line), which at the time, was called the “Tie Road” and was just barely a road at all. Also shown is the small creek which would soon be full of oil. Image courtesy of Jim Gould and Monteith and Sutherland.]

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