Marcus Hook is literally the cornerstone of Pennsylvania. It is tucked into the land on two sides by the Delaware River. It is this tidal water that the town was built upon, first by the Swedes, then by industry, then by oil. Pirates were very fond of this little hamlet and there are many stories to tell.
In 1640 the New Sweden Colony had a trading post here. It was run by the criminals they brought across the sea to work off their debts to society. They called it Finland. The Dutch overthrew the Swedish settlers in 1655 and renamed it Marrites Hoeck. The name of a Lenni Lenape chief, Maarte was edited to Marcus, and Hook meant a hook projecting into the water. The English came shortly after and gained control of the area but didn’t change the name.
By 1700 the place was overrun with pirates. Sailing to the city was too dangerous, having too many port officials and police watching them. Marcus Hook, however, was begun by criminal workers and not policed like Philadelphia. Soon the streets were being re-named according to the pirates, “discord lane” would become today’s second street. Blackbeard’s girlfriend was said to have lived here, in the Marcus Hook Plank House. Soon the active waterway with its six-foot tides became an active shipbuilding haven.
During the Revolutionary War, the British often attacked the town from the water. They cleared all of the old homes, but they rebuilt. The US Military kept troops here during the war of 1812. The city of Philadelphia is a major port, and in 1887 all quarantines coming into the port were sent to Marcus Hook’s Quarantine Station. That went on until the1960s. Large steamships began being commonplace in the waterways. There was also a resort area that catered to quail hunting and fishing. Ship construction and shad fisheries flourished here. An amusement park was in operation and it was more of a vacation hub than known for industry as it is today.
All of that changed when the Bear creek oil refinery opened in 1892. Sun oil came in 1901. Union Petroleum Company, and other oil refineries followed, acquiring the acreage, building pipelines and using the deep shipping lanes to bring oil from Africa, Venezuela and all over the world. The trains also began transporting oil freight, mostly to Texas.
Marcus hook was also known for its local hardwood barrel manufacturing, and textile production. It specialized in silk and is considered the birthplace of Rayon. The population grew, and they built Viscose Village to accommodate the over 5,200 residents b 1920. There were thirty-six bars by then too. Prohibition was barely an inconvenience here; these residents were proceeded by pirates. They quickly became a widely used bootlegging port. Barrels were used for more than oil.
As the oil companies grew, they took with them the residential land and the population was cut in half. Business boomed and with it came more pipelines and the carving of giant caverns underground, dug into the granite. They could store two million barrels there. This small town became one of the largest oil refineries in the world. Sunoco was a major employer in the Philadelphia region until 2011, when they abruptly shut down. Luckily the gas industry has picked up where they left off and the town was put back to work.
Hutchinson’s Heating and Air conditioning contractors come here to work for the hard-working residents of Marcus Hook. Our HVAC services have provided for the people in the area since 1948. When you have an issue with your plumbing, Hutchinson is available 24/7.
Our expertly better local contractors always make appointments that are convenient for you when we come to repair your heating and air conditioning. Our plumbing services are known to be the best in the area. We are the best HVAC company around. Call today!