Pier Into The Past

Pier Into The Past (HM1C1V)

Location: San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 San Luis Obispo County
Country: United States of America

N 35° 10.681', W 120° 44.441'

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History of the Cal Poly Research Pier

Cal Poly's Pier has undergone change throughout its history, shifting purpose from industrial use to a center for marine research & education.
For thousands of years the Chumash Native Americans made their home on the Central Coast, including the Avila Beach area.

1867 The town of Avila is established when the Miguel Avila family subdivides Rancho San Miguelito.

1873 John Harford erects the Harford Pier, to facilitate shipping and trading on the Central Coast.

1908 Present day Avila Pier is constructed.

1908 Union Oil and other companies begin building the largest oil pipeline to date. Over 200 miles of oil pipeline is laid from the San Joaquin Valley to Avila. The first oil arrives at Port San Luis in March 1910.

1914 - 1922 The Pacific Coast Railway Co. builds a third pier in San Luis Obispo Bay for commercial shipping. Union Oil Co. of CA (later Unocal) leased the new pier and expands is operations. At this time, Avila becomes one of the largest crude oil shipping ports in the world.

1923 Harford Pier closes to oil shipping. All oil now ships via the Pacific Coast Railway Pier.

1929 The oil facility is abandoned during the Great Depression. 1400 feet of the Harford Pier is demolished to aid navigation in the bay.
1941 Union Oil acquires the Pacific Coast Railway pier and changes its name to the Union Oil Pier. The U.S. Naval fleet fuels the pier during the war years. Union Oil tanker Montebello is sunk by a torpedo near San Simeon, only hours after fueling at the port. Miraculously, no lives are lost.

1942 Lt. General Dwight D. Eisenhower sends Union Oil a telegraph thanking the employees for their efforts during WWII.

1954 The Port San Luis Harbor District is created to revitalize the Harford Pier and surrounding area.

1972 Sustainable goals for Port San Luis are set by the newly founded California Coastal Commission.

1983 A fierce March storm destroys the Union Oil Pier. Three employees are rescued from the collapsing pier by crew of the Paul Revere.

1984 -mid 1990s A modern steel and concrete pier is constructed in the old pier's original footprints. The new pier extends over 3000 feet into San Luis Obispo Bay. The pier transports an average of 8 to 19 million barrels of oil products per year until Unocal concludes its oil operation at the pier.

2001 On a rainy November day, Unocal donates the pier to Cal Poly's Center for Coastal Marine Sciences. A beautiful rainbow breaks through the heavy clouds and descends on Avila Beach, an auspicious beginning to Cal Ploy's new research center.

Cal Poly

Center for Coastal Marine Sciences

HM NumberHM1C1V
Placed ByCal Poly Center for Coastal Marine Sciences
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 2:20pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 705736 N 3895122
Decimal Degrees35.17801667, -120.74068333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 10.681', W 120° 44.441'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 10' 40.86" N, 120° 44' 26.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)805
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3254 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo CA 93405, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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