This historic photo is of Kelowna’s oil well located in the Mission area of the city.
The photo was taken sometime around 1930, just north of K.L.O. Road.
Donated to the Okanagan Archive Trust Society by the Wilson collection, the photographer is not known.
According to the society, this photo depicts a large number of people listening to a sales presentation at an oil derrick in the winter. The presentation turned out to be a stock scam and all who invested lost their money and there was no oil.
The oil well was owned by the Okanagan Oil and Gas Company Limited, which began drilling at a site near the south bank of Mission Creek in November of 1930. A year later, Kelowna Well No. 1 had reached a depth of 2,225 feet and there was still no oil. The company payroll had reached approximately $30,000, which was a substantial sum for the time. While there were optimistic reports by the company’s geologists and others that there was in fact oil in Kelowna, it turned out to be false. By 1933, the company stopped drilling