Drayton Valley, Alta, incorporated as a town in 1957, population 7049 (2011c), 6893 (2006c). The Town of Drayton Valley is located about 120 km southwest of Edmonton. The first European settlers arrived about 1907 and practised marginal mixed farming, lumbering and trapping. The post office was named after Drayton, England, which was the hometown of the first postmaster's wife. In 1953 huge reserves of oil were discovered in the Pembina oil field, and Drayton Valley, because of its proximity, was chosen as the centre of the oil field's development.
The town is located on high land overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. It was planned as a model town by the provincial government, but growth was so rapid that severe crowding resulted. The population grew from 75 to over 3000 in 1953 alone. In 1954 the Drayton Valley Townsite Act was passed to control land sales. Today the town has well-established neighbourhoods, parks, a walkway system and a sports complex. Drayton Valley was incorporated as a village in 1955 and as a new town in 1956 before it was granted full autonomy the following year.
Today the town continues to rely upon the oil and natural gas industry, although its economic base has diversified to include forestry, agriculture (particularly ranching), environmental industries, trucking and construction.