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The Well No.1 (Grand Old Lady) is NOT a replica.

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The inconsistencies of a certain search engine result in pointing to sites that give inaccurate information about Miri's Well No.1.

Photo of 1st Oil Well in the early 2000s
Credits : Soo Chew Studio

Here are some facts about Well No.1 :


The well was the very first one built in 1910, and still is. It is not a replica. The original wooden construction weathered through the years and survived World War Two until in 2004 when it was reinforced with steel structures to maintain its structural integrity.


The statues of people pushing the drill at the base of the Well No.1 are most likely an inaccurate depiction as well. There have been accounts that in those days, mules or horses were actually used to turn the drill. These concrete statues were added in 2004 as part of the plan to reinvigorate the site as a tourist location.


The name 'Grand Old Lady' was a nickname given much later in its life. During its heyday it is known only as Well No.1, with subsequent wells built getting numbered accordingly. Those other wells have since been retired, disassembled or destroyed during the war, and the Grand Old Lady remained the only one still standing and operating (which incidentally also happened to be the very first one built) until 1972, at which point it had earned this nickname and was ceremoniously handed to the government to be declared a historic site in 1973.


A 'donkey' or a pumpjack structure built in 2004 near the site of the Well No.1 and museum is a static non-working replica of the pumpjacks used in the later years of on-shore oil drilling.


There is also a replica oil well built at the center of Bulatan roundabout which may be the source of confusion of this misinformation. They are not the same well.
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