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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Monterey in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Associated Oil Fire – 1924

Historic Cannery Row

 
 
Associated Oil Fire – 1924 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
1. Associated Oil Fire – 1924 Marker
[Photograph captions
[Top]
Photograph courtesy of Pat Hathaway, California Views

[Middle]
Photograph by C.K. Tuttle, courtesy of the Monterey Public Library, California History Room

(Bottom)
Photograph by C.K. Tuttle, courtesy of the Monterey Public Library, California History Room.
Inscription. In 1904 the Coalinga Oil Transportation Company laid 168 miles of six-inch pipeline from the Belridge Field in San Joaquin Valley to the Tidewater-Associated Marine Terminal on Monterey Bay (top). Its purpose was to deliver heavy fuel oil for use in oceangoing steamers. The terminal and fuel-storage farm were located where the breakwater and U.S. Coast Guard pier now stand.

On the morning of September 14, 1924, a bolt of lighting ignited a fire in the Associated Oil Company tank farm (middle). The ensuing blaze destroyed the wharf and several buildings, set fire to two fish canneries and threatened to consume Fisherman’s Wharf. Two soldiers from the Presidio – Private Eustace Watkins of Battery E., 76th Field Artillery, and Private John Bolio of Headquarters Troop, 11th Cavalry – lost their lives battling the blaze.

The wife of a Presidio soldier noted in a diary entry for September 15, 1923, “The fire is still raging, five tanks of oil and one of gas burning – all day today – all last night, awful, awful” (bottom). For 72 hours, fire companies from as far away as Salinas made every effort to contain the flames of the tank farm until the blaze finally burned out.
 
Location. 36° 36.594′ N, 121° 53.807′ 
Associated Oil Fire – 1924 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
2. Associated Oil Fire – 1924 Marker
W. Marker is in Monterey, California, in Monterey County. Marker can be reached from Cannery Row. Click for map. This marker is located on the ocean side of the Monterey Recreation Trail in San Carlos Park. The park is in the 100 block of Cannery Row. Marker is in this post office area: Monterey CA 93940, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Monterey Breakwater (within shouting distance of this marker); Trains and Canneries (within shouting distance of this marker); Cannery Divers Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The California Riviera (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Edward Ricketts (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sloat Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Presidio of Monterey Museum (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Mervine (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Monterey.
 
Also see . . .  The Great Monterey Oil Fire of 1924. It was Monday, September 14, 1924. A freak storm covered the Monterey Bay. It had a series of hail, wind, rain, lightning and thunder. Lightning split a tree on the Presidio. Then, at 10:10 a.m., a bolt of lightning struck the top of one of the Associated Oil storage tanks near the wharf in Monterey. The 55,000 barrel tank, filled with oil and covered only with a layer of oil paper, burst into flame, and huge clouds of black
Associated Oil Tank image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
3. Associated Oil Tank
smoke rose into the sky. (Submitted on May 10, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. DisastersIndustry & Commerce
 
Associated Oil Tanks image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
4. Associated Oil Tanks
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 592 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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