Associated Oil Tank Farm — Tracy, California
For decades, oil from Kern County was transported by rail in tank cars (appropriately dubbed “oil cans”) to this Associated Oil storage facility in Tracy, which served as a way station as the oil traveled to Port Costa. The tracks heading to the right are part of the Mococo Line, which is now a seldom-used single track that extends up through Byron and Brentwood into Antioch and Pittsburg. In the distance just right of center in the photograph is an oil reservoir (also known as the “Gravel Pit”), which was located approximately where Alden Park is today.
All that currently remains of this facility today is a group of hillocks at the corner of Tracy Blvd. and Beechnut Avenue, across from the city’s corporation yard.
Contaminated soil in the area led to a landmark court case, Cose v. Getty Oil Co., over who was responsible for waste from the tanks that had seeped into the soil surrounding the “Gravel Pit.”
ABOVE: An excerpt from a 1955 USGS map of Tracy, showing the tank farm area. Note that the current Tracy Boulevard, previously known as Oil Road, did not extend across the tracks here at this time.
ABOVE: A Google Earth aerial view of the Tank Farm area as it appeared in 2013. Tracy Blvd. curves from top to bottom at right, with Alden Park in the lower left corner.
ABOVE: A typical Associated Oil tank car. The San Francisco-based company used “Tidewater” and “Flying A” as brand names.