The Town of Okotoks is donating a historic Cable Tool Spudder Rig to a museum in Edmonton.

"Cable Tool Rigs were used to drill for oil and gas and sometimes water in Southern Alberta in the early 1900s," explains the Culture and Heritage team leader Allan Boss. "They worked by pounding soil and rock. They dropped this heavy chisel style bit from a steel cable, and then they'd clear out the mud and then they'd start doing it again."

Using this method was time consuming and at times it would take up to two years to complete a well hole, but they were able to dig down 6000 feet with these rigs.

"They're basically a series of cable reels and drilling lines and sometimes they were hooked up to a steam engine to help power the mast, moving the drilling tool up and down," Boss says. "This particular rig was actually from Montana. And it was used there in the 1920s and the mast of this one, the tall piece, it was originally about 45 feet tall, and it was reduced to 30 feet and that was because of height restrictions of the actual location."

This piece ended up in the Town of Okotoks after it was donated to the town in 2004 by the Okotoks Petroleum Association.

But, unfortunately, due to some upcoming work happening in the downtown area of Okotoks it has to be moved.

"It's a project called Downtown's Next chapter, so we're looking at a large amount of street work, including changing the street in front of the Okotoks Art Gallery where the Rig is currently located. It, essentially, has to move, because we are doing street construction in that spot and things are going to change and there's going to be no room for it," Boss says.

The Town knew this move was going to happen for a while, so they worked with the Petroleum Association to find the rig a new home.

After looking at museums and historic organizations in the region, which was where they were wanting to keep it, they couldn't find anyone in the area who was able to take it in and preserve it.

Luckily, the Edmonton Oilfield Technical Society expressed interest in the piece, so they could add it to their museum in Edmonton.

"So, we began discussions. They came and saw it and we thought that that would be an amazing home for it, because it will be telling the story of drilling in oil and gas and water drilling in Alberta. So, that's pretty cool.," Boss explains.

While they don't have an exact date booked for when the rig will be moved, but it is expected to happen the week of June 17th.

The Edmonton Oilfield Technical Society Museum is a tribute to the role the petroleum industry played in Alberta in the twentieth century and has exhibits that showcase the petroleum industry.

"The museum is thrilled to accept this vintage rig to their collection," explained the Edmonton Oilfield Technical Society president, Brandon Forbes, in a media release from the Town of Okotoks. "We look forward to getting it in place and on display for all to see."

To learn more about this historic rig, head over to the Town of Okotoks website.