This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tanks for Demolition

Last Wednesday I was riding my bike along Walnut Street and I saw that a big excavator had been busy taking down some old fuel tanks. Two were still standing, and one was on its side.
Several months ago I had taken a picture of those tanks, thinking there might be an interesting story with them. At some time they must have been used, but for what? Heating oil? Gasoline? Diesel? Who owned them? What was the business called? When did they stop being used? I thought that sometime in the future I might find answers to these questions and write something about these mysterious tanks.
There are some similar tanks that are still in use by the grain elevators. I know as little about them as about the rusted tanks but I doubt if they are fuel tanks.
On Thursday I went back to see what was happening and found the workmen had taken down the last two tanks and were playing with them using their big machine with the mighty claw. The machine could crush them and lift them up. I asked what would happen to them because there was a warning spray painted on them that they had held fuel, and that means that they might be dangerous to cut up. I was told that they were going down the street to the scrap yard.
A truck pulled up and they tried to load a tank onto it.
Wait--I have some video.

Here are two of the tanks in the scrap yard of Rensselaer Iron and Metal Company.

On Friday I talked to a workman and he told me that the property was owned by Exxon-Mobil. They were taking down all the structures and then would be selling the vacant lot. He also said that the tanks had not been used for about twenty-five years.

If you know anything about the history of these tanks, please leave a comment.

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