Black Gold


The stories of the men & women of the oil industry

The North American petroleum industry began in 1858 in Lambton County.

Asphalt producer James Miller Williams’ sought out to drill a water well and discover oil instead his discovery triggered North America’s first oil rush.  Within a few years, Oil Springs was a bustling town with four thousand residents and in its peak days boasted paved roads, horse-drawn buses and street lamps.

John Henry Fairbank, a surveyor turned oil man who came to Oil Springs in 1861, bought some property and despite incurring debts and suffering family tragedies, Fairbank struck it rich, founding the successful Fairbank Oil Company that is now the oldest petroleum company in the world.

Enjoy the stories of these industrious fortune seekers who developed methods used the world over.