Our Research

We knew that there were many people who lived in Millarville around the time of the oil boom. This area is a part of the Turner Valley Oilfield so we could use some of the resources including videos, photographs and stories from the local history books.

We quickly found that in the 1940's Millarville was one of many boomtowns in the area where oil-drilling crews would live. Some of these crews and their families lived in portable homes close to where the Millarville Community School now stands. "Most oilfield workers never referred to their home as a house. They always said they had a 'shack'. A shack was a one, two or three-room dwelling about 12 feet wide and 18 to 22 feet long." (Sheep River Historical Society, 1979, p. 17, e-page 27.)

These resources and experiences spurred other questions for us. We wondered what life was like for these people? It must have been hard living without running water or electricity. We wondered what life was like for kids. What did people do for fun when there weren't video games or TV? Why did people move so many times? Wouldn't they be unwilling to leave once they were settled in one place? We collected stories of people who lived here in the 1940's to 1950's.

Historical Personalities of Millarville

  • Robert Backs went into partnership with his father.
  • Hans and Merle Backs Hans worked 16 hours at his gas station and also built a school bus.
  • William (Scotty) Tosh Did you know that Scotty Tosh only wore his cowboy hat when all the other roughnecks wore their hard hats?
  • Fred Rishaug came to the Millarville area because he wanted to see what the red glow in the sky was.