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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lusk in Niobrara County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

The C & H Refinery

 
 
The C & H Refinery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 9, 2018
1. The C & H Refinery Marker
Inscription. By the standards of the petroleum industry, the C & H Refinery is tiny, but placed in the light of history, that small enterprise illustrates the enormous transformation of the oil business. In the late nineteenth century, a multitude of small oil refineries with limited capital and simple technology sprang up near oil fields across the nation. Those refineries distilled the crude and separated its various components into different storage tanks when they turned into steam at their sequential boiling points. That process, however, like small refineries themselves, was replaced in the early 1910s and 1920s when the refining business was controlled by a small number of companies and when refineries adopted a sophisticated technology that caused a molecular change in the petroleum. Both changes meant that almost all of the older, smaller, refineries vanished from the landscape.

But not all of them. In 1933, two Ohio Oil Company employees, Roy Chamberlain and James Robin, opened their own refinery in Lusk. The C & H Refinery acquired obsolete, but functional, equipment from a refinery in Casper that had been closed earlier and, with two stills manufactured in the late nineteenth century, began to refine petroleum, separating the crude into water, naphtha, kerosene, and diesel. The antique machinery and small output were manually
The C & H Refinery Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 9, 2018
2. The C & H Refinery Marker (tall view)
controlled and monitored, the work force modest, and the refinery capable of producing only 190 barrels a day. But it survived, continuing to operate and sell home heating oil to the Lusk community until 1978 when it closed. When the stills were cleaned and fired up again in 2000 by its new owner to demonstrate that the refinery could still operate, a technology and a small business energy many believed to be buried deep in the past came suddenly back to life.
 
Erected by Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office.
 
Location. 42° 45.237′ N, 104° 27.459′ W. Marker is in Lusk, Wyoming, in Niobrara County. Marker is on West 8th Street (U.S. 20) 0.3 miles west of U.S. 85, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located on the south side of the street, directly in front of the old C & H Refinery building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 402 West 8th Street, Lusk WY 82225, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oldest Building in Lusk (approx. 0.6 miles away); Redwood Water Tank (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Redwood Water Tank (approx. 0.9 miles away); Breaks in the Prairie
The C & H Refinery Marker (<i>wide view; old refinery office and equipment in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 9, 2018
3. The C & H Refinery Marker (wide view; old refinery office and equipment in background)
(approx. 1.3 miles away); Lusk Rest Area (approx. 1.3 miles away); Cheyenne-Deadwood Trail (approx. 1.4 miles away); George Lathrop (approx. 1.4 miles away); Monuments to Wyoming History (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lusk.
 
Regarding The C & H Refinery. National Register of Historic Places (2000)
 
Also see . . .
1. C and H Refinery Historic District. The C & H Refinery Historic District comprises an intact industrial complex in Lusk, Wyoming that documents an early 20th-century refinery. The C & H Refinery is noted as the smallest functioning oil refinery in the world, and may be the only remaining thermal distillation refinery, all other refineries having modernized to the catalytic cracking method. (Submitted on July 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. C & H Refinery: National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (2000). The C & H Refinery historic district complex is an intact industrial complex retaining an uncommonly high level of integrity. The district exemplifies the dramatic changes which occurred during the first half of
The C & H Refinery (<i>wide view; showing refinery equipment in background; marker far left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 9, 2018
4. The C & H Refinery (wide view; showing refinery equipment in background; marker far left)
the 20th century as a direct result of oil exploration and development in Wyoming. It is most probably the only operational petroleum distillation refinery in existence. This early refining technology has been entirely replaced by today's sophisticated thermal cracking process. (Submitted on July 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 32 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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