By Laura Torkelson
It bubbled up from the ground. Edward and Anne Flood came from near Dublin, Ireland with his mother and eight children. They bought a farm in Happy Valley in 1889. Edward loved to take visitors to a section of his farm where oil seeped to the surface. He would light a match, and poof – quite a show. Once he got too close and singed his beard and eyelashes! The oil was said to be so pure that it could be used to light lamps.
In the early 1900’s, one of the Flood relatives thought that perhaps money could be made from the oil. He got investors, issued shares, drilled an oil well and made extensive plans for more. Unfortunately, no money was made on the one well. As a child, Genevieve Gallagher, born to the Flood family in 1918, remembers getting a pair of shoes with “oil money”. No fortune, and the venture was abandoned. (The Flood name might be familiar because their decedent, Nancy Flood, taught at Springhill for many years.)
The oil was in the Los Arabis Drive area. That street, Timothy Lane, Rahara Drive, and Natasha Drive are all named for the Arabian horses that Dr. Leo Musser owned in the 1930s and 1940s. He reported that when it rained a lot, oily water covered his basement floor. Any Happy Valley residents still see oil? Let the Historical Society know. Come in and learn more amazing facts about Happy Valley.
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