Montana’s first commercially lucrative oil strike occurred in the area in 1920, and soon, the booming oil camp of Cat Creek was flourishing. With an estimated 200-300 men working in the oil fields, Cat Creek grew to include several tar paper shacks, company bunkhouses for single men, a company cookhouse, and a lively recreation hall.
As prosperity continued, a four-inch oil pipeline was built to the railroad station of neighboring Winnett, and more than 150 oil pumps operated during Cat Creek’s peak. Although the boom was over by 1975 and the town’s post office closed, Cat Creek retains an impressive production history of more than 23 million barrels of oil.
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