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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Jim Thorpe in Carbon County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Pioneer Pipeline

 
 
Pioneer Pipeline Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 25, 2019
1. Pioneer Pipeline Marker
Inscription.  ”My grandfather, Samuel Rice got a job as a watchman after the pipeline was built in 1886. In an emergency he could turn off the valve at either end of the bridge from his house. My mother, Ethel Rice Jenkins, tells how the house was in the wilderness, five miles from the nearest house. To catch the train for school in Mauch Chunk, my uncle and mother had to cross the creaking 365-foot long bridge, which was especially treacherous in winter when covered with ice and snow.”
—Mrs. June Jenkins Hinkle, Hudsondale

Look down river to your right, and you will see the Tidewater Pipeline. This long-distance pipeline carried crude oil 109 miles from western Pennsylvania to refineries in New Jersey. The oil then traveled on to fuel the factories and lubricate the machines of the world's burgeoning industries.

The story of the pipeline reflects both the creativity and ruthlessness of American industrialists. It marked an attempt by independent oil companies to compete with oil baron, John D. Rockefeller. They planned to move their oil to market via the pipe and by-pass the railroads, then firmly under Rockefeller's
Marker detail: Men building pipeline at oxbow curve on the Lehigh River image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Men building pipeline at oxbow curve on the Lehigh River
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domination.

While the pipeline idea succeeded, the oil companies did not. Rockefeller simply dropped his prices, starved out his competition, bought the pipeline, and again raised prices. Extended into Illinois, the line carried an average of 11,000 barrels of oil a day through its two six-inch pipes.

No longer used for oil, the line now carries the fiber optics used in modern communication technologies.
 
Erected by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Lehigh Canal series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1886.
 
Location. 40° 54.44′ N, 75° 44.937′ W. Marker is near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, in Carbon County. Marker is on Lehigh Gorge Trail 4 miles north of Main Street. Marker is located along the Lehigh Gorge Trail (Delaware and Lehigh Trail), at Oxbow Bend, in Lehigh Gorge State Park, about 2.3 miles north of the Glen Onoko trailhead and parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jim Thorpe PA 18229, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Romance in the Woods (approx. 1.8 miles away); Lehigh Gorge State Park (approx. 1.8 miles away); Exploring The Corridor
Pioneer Pipeline Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 25, 2019
3. Pioneer Pipeline Marker
(Tidewater pipeline visible passing over trail in background)
(approx. 1.8 miles away); James Francis Thorpe (approx. 2 miles away); Jim Thorpe (Wa-tho-huck) (approx. 2 miles away); The Professional Sportsman (approx. 2 miles away); a different marker also named James Francis Thorpe (approx. 2 miles away); The 1912 Olympics (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jim Thorpe.
 
More about this marker. Access to the marker is via bicycle, horseback, kayak/canoe, or foot.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Tidewater Pipe Company
 
Also see . . .
1. Tide-Water Pipe-Line Company (1878). In November 1878, Byron Benson and his business partners created the Tide-Water Pipe-Line Company. Benson’s goal was to change the way oil was transported. The pipeline Benson wanted to create was enormous by the standards of the day. Further, the route he needed to take involved half-mile mountains, which meant challenges in building and engineering the pumping system. To make the task still more difficult, Tide-Water had as its competitors the master of railroad transportation, which just so happened to be the world’s largest and arguably shrewdest company: John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. (Submitted on July 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Tidewater Pipeline Passing Over Lehigh River image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 25, 2019
4. Tidewater Pipeline Passing Over Lehigh River
(looking east from near marker)
 

2. Tidewater Pipe Company-World's 1st Successful Oil Pipeline. Working secretly, Tidewater craftily bought right-of-ways to cut a 109 mile pipeline swath to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. On May 28 1879, the 80-horsepower pumps located in Coryville sent an oil flow of 250 barrels an hour across the mountains and ultimately into Williamsport on June 4th. (Submitted on July 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Tidewater Pipeline Over Lehigh Gorge Trail image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 25, 2019
5. Tidewater Pipeline Over Lehigh Gorge Trail
(active railroad tracks on left • Lehigh River to right)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 101 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 9, 2021