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What’s the history of the brick building just south of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, on the east side of the Cape Fear River?

Ben Steelman
StarNews

 

StarNews photo by Paul Stephen.

The unique little seven-sided brick structure has been around awhile — at least since 1915, when it appears on the Sanburn insurance maps. At first, it appears to have been an office for the Spirttime Chemical Co,, which manufactured oils, paints, disinfectants and other chemicals from around the turn of the century through the 1920s. In the 1940s and 1950s, the little building was connected with Cape Fear Terminal Co., an oil and gas distributor (for many years, the local distributor for Pure Oil.)

From 1978 to 1986, it was listed in the Wilmington City Directory (at 801 Surrey St.) as the offices of ATC Petroleum Co., which operated a small oil refinery nearby. Since 1987, it has been listed as “Vacant” in the city directory, although later companies that operated the refinery seem to have used it. At the moment, it’s all that’s left of the old refinery operation.

“I haven’t heard of any plans for the building,” Beverly Tetterton of the New Hanover County Public Library said in June 2012. “The poor old thing looks worse than ever.”

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Werner Meyer

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One Response to “ What’s the history of the brick building just south of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, on the east side of the Cape Fear River?”

  1. On March 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm Robert McLeod wrote:

    I worked at that location from 1976 to 1979 when Union 76 transfered me to Chicago. When I started it was the AMSCO terminal (American Mineral Spirits Company) a division of Union 76. The name was then changed to Union Chemicals. There were 8 420,000 gallon storage tanks containing hydrocarbon solvents. The tanks, now gone were built in the mid 30’s. Product was received from ships docked at the Cape Fear Terminal via pipeline and shipped out by truck.



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