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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jamestown in Newport County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Oil Storage Building

 
 
Oil Storage Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bryan Simmons, June 2012
1. Oil Storage Building Marker
Inscription. Beavertail Light was lit with whale oil for many decades. Whale oil was smoky, hard to light at cold temperatures, and the quality varied greatly. In addition, early lights were dim and burned twenty to thirty gallons of oil a month.

In the early 1800s Newport inventor David Melville developed a way to manufacture flammable gas from coal tar. He lit Beavertail Light using his coal gas in an 1817 experiment, but the powerful whale oil industry blocked the use of coal gas. It would be another 50 years before colza oil (made from the seed of a type of turnip) replaced whale oil. Later, mineral oil and finally kerosene were used.

In 1905 the U.S. Lighthouse Board constructed this building to store fuel oil to light the lamps in the tower and in the houses. The buildings were also used to store fuel oil to operate the standby generator and the engine driven air compressor in the fog signal building.

The oil storage building was restored in 2010 by volunteers of the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association supplemented with a grant from the Newport Restoration Foundation.

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same,
year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1849
 
Erected by

Oil Storage Building image. Click for full size.
By Bryan Simmons, June 2012
2. Oil Storage Building
Marker can be seen on the right side of the door
Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association.
 
Location. 41° 26.974′ N, 71° 23.958′ W. Marker is in Jamestown, Rhode Island, in Newport County. Marker can be reached from Beavertail Road. Click for map. Marker is behind lighthouse and house in the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum property. Marker is in this post office area: Jamestown RI 02835, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Keeper's House (a few steps from this marker); Fog Signal Building (a few steps from this marker); The Granite Light Tower (a few steps from this marker); History of the Beavertail Light Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The West Passage to Narragansett Bay (within shouting distance of this marker); The Assistant Keeper's House (within shouting distance of this marker); Whale Rock Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The 1749 Foundation (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Jamestown.
 
Also see . . .  The History of Beavertail Lighthouse. (Submitted on June 22, 2012, by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts.)
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Oil Storage Building image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 29, 2015
3. Oil Storage Building
View of the displays seen in the interior of the Oil Storage Building.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 340 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bryan Simmons of Attleboro, Massachusetts.   3. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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