Back to top

At Jersey City's Petroleum Dock, a massive explosion touches off a devastating fire.

Fire on the Jersey City Docks, August 19, 1866, artist's impression, detail.
08/19/1866

In the morning hours, a massive explosion on a schooner loaded with crude oil, set off a remarkable conflagration at the Petroleum Dock in Jersey City that burned all day.  Other vessels moored at the dock, many of them also loaded, along with a train of railroad cars delivering crude oil to the pier were set afire and almost all destroyed.  Fire crews were helpless but managed, with the help of a wind in the right direction, to limit the blaze to the docks.  No serious casualties were reported but the damages was estimated at the time at two million dollars.  (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

"The Great Fire in Jersey City," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, September 8, 1866, p. 391.

How to Cite This Page: "At Jersey City's Petroleum Dock, a massive explosion touches off a devastating fire.," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/45753.