Small Town Becomes Major World Player – an appropriate news headline for the progressive oil town of Petrolia. “All this oil flowing all over the place, and I remember my Dad coming back just sopping in oil, and he stinks and smelling like a Cheshire cat. It was magnificent, absolutely magnificent!” Charlie Fairbank recalls his father coming home.

In a moment of entrepreneurial inspiration, J. H. Fairbank sells his property in Oil Springs and invests heavily in Petrolia real-estate. His fortunes grow from the local hardware store to one quarter of all the businesses in town. Richard Bradley introduces a new idea to Petrolia that almost blows it into extinction: that of using nitroglycerin to shake up the oil beneath the surface. Processing the oil necessitates the development of Imperial Oil, the result of teamwork, to help produce kerosene, gasoline, paraffin wax, lubricants and grease.

Albino Turtles

Doc Stanton

The Great Storm

The Griffon


Stewart James

Group of Seven

Home Stories Timeline Map Museums Partners

The Last Frontier

Three Fires

The French



Early Sarnia

Oil Story

Oil Springs




The Rapids

St. Clair Tunnel

The Explorers

Grand Bend

World War 2


Natural Resources

Petrolia Discovery

Petrolia Heritage

Page 11: Petrolia Oil Boom
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