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Dingman No.1 Discovery Well

In 1911, an amateur geologist named William Stewart Herron discovered oil seeping through the ground in the foothills south of Calgary. He didn't know it then, but his discovery would launch Alberta's oil industry. Herron hired Archibald Wayne Dingman to supervise the drilling, and the two founded Calgary Petroleum Products (CPP). With the help of prominent investors, the company started drilling the Calgary Petroleum Products No. 1 Well (informally known as the Dingman Well), and struck oil on May 14, 1914 at 2,700'. This gusher, whose gasoline was so pure it could power a car without any refining, caused great excitement and initiated Alberta's first oil boom.

Heritage Park built the accurate first replica of the Dingman cable tool rig in 1965, using hardware salvaged from an abandoned oil derrick in BC's Flathead Valley. These iron components were recycled into the second replica, built in 2019. 

Before the 1930s traditional cable-tool rigs were cheaper and more common than rotary tool rigs. Cable-tool rigs worked by repeatedly dropping a sharp, heavy iron tool attached to a cable down the hole to break up soils and rock which was then bailed out. The first replica at Heritage Park drilled to 113', struck water, and was then plugged with cement. The modified second replica was built over a steel frame and is used for interpretive demonstrations that do not involve actual drilling. 

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Heritage Park has implemented the Restrictions Exemption Program. For more information visit our COVID-19 Information page