From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Hopeful Bellingham businessmen get stuck in the muck

In 1930, a Chilliwack farmer brought visitors racing to town in search of a phantom oil gusher.

Since first publishing on April 16, 1891 the Chilliwack Progress has been the newspaper of record in Chilliwack.

One hundred and 28 years later the Progress remains the longest continuously published newspaper in British Columbia. With the addition of a thriving digital operation anchored by theprogress.com, the Progress delivers more news to more people than ever before.

‘From the Progress Archives’ is a journey into the past, to see what was making news decades ago.

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Headline: Plenty of mud is found, but no oil gusher

Date: February 27, 1930

Reporter:

Rumours that the oil well being drilled on the Kennedy farm, Sumas Prairie, had “come in” brought between 20 and 30 cars of Bellingham business men, said to be interested in the venture, to the location on Friday afternoon, according to an Abbotsford report.

The first rumour was said to have reached the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce.

One party phoned to a farmer near the drilling site and asked if the report was true. Apparently treating the inquiry as a joke, the farmer replied to the effect that he could see the well spouting oil from his place.

When the caravan of Bellingham residents arrived on the scene, not only did they find that the report was without foundation but the majority of the cards became stuck in the mud on the side roads. It was late Friday night before many of them were extracted from the mire.

New Westminster, as well as Bellingham business men, are said to be interested in the company which is drilling the hole but no Royal City cars were reported as being among the numbers which bore down on the “gusher” on Friday.

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