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derrick__1948_Cook_farm_Esso_1

History of Redwater

The Redwater area was surveyed from 1881 to 1883 and registered on September 7, 1906. The first homesteads were taken by Ukrainian settlers in 1907, closely followed by the English in 1908 and the French in 1909. Redwater was named after the nearby Redwater River. David Thompson gave the river its original name of Vermilion.

The first Post Office was established in 1907 just east of the present town and relocated in 1919 when Redwater became a hamlet. Redwater was incorporated as a village December 31, 1949 and became a town November 25, 1950.

Redwater was considered a farming area until the discovery of oil by Imperial Oil Ltd. on Hilton Cook's farm in 1948. There was a boom in the economy and population. Redwater grew from a hamlet of 160 people to approximately 4000 during the oil boom.

The original 45 meter "Discovery Well" derrick now rises above the Town's skyline as a historical landmark and a focal point in the centre of the community.

For more information on our history go to the Virtual Museum of Canada - When Oil Hit Redwater.