Six Inches from Monterey to Coalinga
The First Oil Pipeline in California & The Great Monterey Oil Fire of 1924

(Photo courtesy of The Pat Hathaway Collection)

A History Day Project
by Emily Cohan

March, 1997

In 1904- a man who new almost nothing about oil- except that he needed it for his steamships, built a 104 mile pipeline to connect his ships in Monterey with the oil fields in Coalinga. Never before had a pipeline been built so fast- or so high. It was built in 90 days, and crossed 2 mountain ranges with a max. elevation of over 2,000 feet.The line had carried millions of barrels of crude, when one day- it ended in a colossal fire that killed 2 people, and nearly burned down Monterey.

Click below to explore:

Building the Pipeline

Captain Matson

Livin' on the Pipeline

What is Oil?

The Great Fire

How I Researched