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Lake Erie Drilling Platforms

  1. Drilling on the ice, no platform. (1930?)

  2. Wooden piling 21 pilings driven into lake bottom with wooden deck on top. At Selkirk the rig was placed ll' above lake level. At Long Point Bay the rig was only 6' above the lake level.

  3. Kenting A jack up drill barge with diamond shaped legs. This barge never drilled on Lake Erie because the lake bottom was too soft to jack up the barge.

  4. Long Point Gas Co. drilling on Lake Erie with Translake I and II. Translake III was built but sank leaving the shipyard at Owen Sound.

  5. Timesaver II six leg jack up with legs 140' long and 36" in diameter. The pads on the bottom of the legs were l6' square pyramids.

  6. Mr. Neal 4 leg jack up. One pad on the bottom, the full size of the barge.

  7. Simcoe Drill ship which later changed its name to Nor Drill. This was an anchor system.

  8. Teleses Drill ship.

  9. Mr. Chris Drill barge.

  10. Miss Libby Drill barge.

  11. Mr. Pat - 4 leg jack up was built by Harry Gamble.

  12. Place Gas and Oil Co. had platforms II and III.

  13. Consolidated West Petroleum sectional platforms, they kept placing sections on top of each other to get above the water. The last section had the rig on it. They ran 4 guide wires from the top of the platform out into the lake. At one time they drilled mainly off Port Alma. At one time they had 9 of these platforms.

Members Passed Away

  • Darryl Bray - Selkirk
  • Lee Chambers - Dunnville
  • Beth Culver - Rainham Centre
  • Jack Culver - Rainham Centre
  • Wray Hoover - Selkirk
  • Morris House - Hagersville
  • Blake Montgomery - Selkirk
  • Ken Ruch - Stevensville
  • Hazon Slote - Hamilton
  • Katherine Slote - Hamilton
  • Don Smelser - Simcoe
  • Ron Smelser - Jarvis
  • Doug Thompson - Peacock Point (Nanticoke)
  • Vernon Yager - Selkirk


Memories from Allan Dougherty - Port Dover, Ontario

Retired from Husband Truck Lines

Excerpted from Canadian Drilling Rig Museum Newsletter, Spring 2012

I was born in 1925 and started working on drill rigs at l5 years of age. I worked for P.L. Jackson from Dunnville. We moved a wooden Wolfe Drilling Machine on wheels from Jarvis to Decewsville. I was sitting on top of the rig with a hockey stick to lift the low hanging telephone and hydro wires.

Teamsters were Walt Davis, Ira Makey (he was head teamster with the biggest and strongest horses), Bill Booth, Jim Booth and Bert Lang. Once we moved the rig from Hagersville to Nanticoke with a 1931 Model "A" truck.

The sharpness of the flint rock was hard on the drill bits. In the Nanticoke area you were lucky to get four or five feet in a twelve-hour shift. Walkishaw Motor was the power unit. It started in the coldest morning and had lots of power. This was in 1939 - 1940.

Once, a milk snake was moving in the grass. Ivan Smelser picked up a stick and flipped the snake into the air. Win Nauman had his shirt open and the snake landed inside his shirt. There was a lot of hollering!!!

When I worked for Jackson, they said I would be working with Frank Martin. They always said that Frank was hard to get along with so I said "no". Win Nauman and Ray Swayze had purchased a Canadian Drilling Rig. Ray and I could ride to work and share the cost of gasoline. Jim Stone worked with Win and I worked with Ray.

Ray had this guy come out to blow the gas rock to see if there would be a better flow of natural gas. They told us to get off the platform and then started to pour nitro from one container to another. After the well was shot, he put the empty containers in the fence corner. A few days later, one of their boys had a 22 rifle with him and he shot at the container and blew out 200 feet of rail fence.

The pay was $1.35 a foot for drilling. Drillers made $36.00 a week and Tool Dressers $24.00. Don Dempster was a driller when one square sill went out. It was midnight and he didn't want to wake Win up because he would be mad. Win said we should have changed it before we went to sleep. Instead, we installed a new sill the next day.

Memories from Stan Boyt:

"In the early 60s I was drilling on the Nordrill in Lake Erie on the afternoon shift, when a violent storm came up and started to move the rig. The anchors lost hold and the rig started to move off the hole. We tried to secure the rig over the hole by pulling on the anchors, but they continued to slip.

The midnight shift arrived on the tug "Paula M" so we decided to stay long enough to help them get the tools out of the hole.

Time for us to board the "Paula M", but it was a huge challenge as the waves were violently heaving the rig up and down. While jumping from the Nordrill onto the "Paula M", I landed in front of the wheel house on a hatch cover and knocked the wind out of me. Crawling on my hands and knees, I crawled past the wheel house to the cabin, where I joined the rest of the crew and we headed back to Port Maitland.

It was a rough ride and we could only see the lighthouse as the water was going over the piers so it was almost impossible to find the channel.

Glad to be back on land!

Checked with the Nordrill crew the next morning and we were told that the derrick folded and went down about 5 a.m. When the weather calmed, the rig was towed to Port Colborne. The "Off Shore Drilling Company" of Louisiana sent two side braces to support the derrick. After repairing the Nordrill it was towed back to the site and continued drilling."

Favourite Recipes

From Marion's massive collection.

Bake a Cake on Your Natural Gas Bar-B-Que

Preheat BBQ to about 350 degrees F, light only the two end burners on a four burner BBQ, set control to medium so it holds. It's important not to let the BBQ get too hot.

Place another grate in the centre, over regular grates, so cake is a bit further from the heat.

Prepare a cake mix according to instructions, or use your own recipe. I used an aluminum pan 9x13 inch.

Now lift BBQ lid quickly and carefully and set cake on rack in middle of the burners. Put lid down carefully and don't peek for about 20 minutes, then just peek, don't lift the lid right up. Close lid and check again in about 10 to 15 minutes. Mine took about 30 minutes and turned out just great. When it is nicely browned on top, just like your regular over, remove cake, turn BBQ off and cool cake on wire rack. Ice as desired and enjoy.

I also did a pizza similarly and it turned out well too.

Next I think I will try brownies and cookies and who knows what else. Good luck!

Yummy Cauliflower Casserole

1 medium size head cauliflower... cook whole on stovetop about 15 minutes. Remove from pot (whole) drain and place in casserole dish. Mix about 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 2 tbsp dijon mustard or honey mustard together. Pour over cauliflower. Dot with 4 or 5 tsp butter. Then put 1 cup grated cheese, (I used cheddar).

Bake uncovered in 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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