Port Arthur in Jefferson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Early Oil Tanker Service
Part of the huge transportation complex that moves petroleum to world markets. Traffic in oil tankers and barges in Texas mushroomed two months after the state's first oil gusher, "Spindletop," roared in. On March 11, 1901, the first boat to transport the Spindletop product, the "Atlas," left Sabine Pass with about 3,000 barrels of crude oil.
Port Arthur exported one of the earliest large shipments of oil about April or May, 1901, on the "Atlas," and two other vessels. The cargo was bound for the refineries of Standard Oil Company of Philadelphia to be tested for "illuminating" purposes. Many persons then scoffed at the idea of using oil as a fuel.
One year after Spindletop, Texas commerce, formerly based on cattle and cotton had been vastly changed by petroleum. More than half of all ships entering Sabine Pass and Port Arthur were connected with the oil industry. By April of 1902, shipments had already exceeded the 1,750,000 barrels exported in 1901.
By 1902, steamers were burning Texas oil as fuel and the Guffey Petroleum Company had begun to build Texas' first tanker fleet - five ships.
Erected 1968 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 10548.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is March 11, 1901.
Location. 29° 50.9′ N, 93° 58.347′ W. Marker is in Port Arthur, Texas, in Jefferson County. Marker is on State Highway 87, 1.4 miles south of State Highway 82, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Arthur TX 77640, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Port Arthur Refinery (approx. ¾ mile away); Rock Island Baptist Church (approx. 2 miles away); Israel Chapel A.M.E. Church (approx. 2.1 miles away); St. Paul United Methodist Church (approx. 2.1 miles away); The Kansas City Southern Railway in Port Arthur (approx. 2½ miles away); Port Arthur-Beaumont Interurban Railway (approx. 2.8 miles away); South County Office Building (approx. 2.8 miles away); Francis John (Frank) Trost (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Arthur.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 24, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,450 times since then and 63 times this year. Last updated on June 11, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. Photos: 1. submitted on October 24, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on October 19, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. 3, 4. submitted on October 24, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.