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, 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.


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

Date: February 27, 1930


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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Fraser Valley crafters are busy sewing cotton masks for health-care workers and others

One Chilliwack woman has made 125 masks so far, and is still going strong

Chilliwack teen donating stem cells for brother’s second fight with cancer

Chilliwack’s Fleming family appealing to the public to look into stem cell donation

Chilliwack couple ‘amazed’ by the Community Cares initiative

CCFC project Community Cares has ‘neighbours in need’ matched with volunteer ‘helper neighbours’

Stairs used for exercise in Chilliwack designated one-way only

The Jinkerson stairs were so crowded over the weekend that city officials had to do something

Chilliwack companies offer free meals, discount on gas for health-care workers and first responders

Sangam restaurant handing out 50 lunches a day, Chevron offers $10 off gas

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read