The Social History of Oil Springs, Ontario
The interns research will focus on gathering and analyzing information about the social history of Oil Springs, Canada’s first boom town. Areas of focus include: deeper understanding of community lifestyles that arose from the advent/loss of sudden personal wealth; investigate historical personages to understand them not as “technological achievers” but as personalities with stories to tell; and conducting oral history interviews with five former oil producers. The intern will enter four of site’s Oil Heritage District structures into the Canadian Register of Historic Places, and assist in drafting a Commemorative Intergrity Statement for Parks Canada in a step towards bidding for World Heritage Status. Finally, the research will help a team of playwrights draft an historically-accurate interpretive production to celebrate the site’s national and global significance, scheduled for the 150th anniversary celebrations in 2012. The Oil Museum of Canada will benefit from increased research resources and additions to the museum’s interpretation, and Fairbank Oil will benefit from a better understanding of their institutional history and improved public relations.