Associated Oil Fire - 1924

Associated Oil Fire - 1924 (HM11CL)

Location: Monterey, CA 93940 Monterey County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 36.594', W 121° 53.807'

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Historic Cannery Row

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.
HM NumberHM11CL
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:20pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 598660 N 4052165
Decimal Degrees36.60990000, -121.89678333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 36.594', W 121° 53.807'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 36' 35.64" N, 121° 53' 48.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)408, 831
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 138-198 Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, Monterey CA 93940, US
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