By Duane Craig
In Hyattsville, Maryland, at GallatinStreet where 42nd Place dies into it, and just a stone’s throw from Hyattsville Elementary School and Saint Jerome School, there’s a small park that occupies less than an acre. It is one of just four parks the city maintains the lights at and it recently had the dubious distinction of being home to a pool of oil near a water fountain.
At first it was believed the oil was dumped into the fountain’s drain by someone pulling a prank, but according to the Fairfax Times it turned out the oil was from an old buried tank. Back in 1905 a two-story, eight-room school occupied the site and the tank was its heating oil storage. The building was demolished in 1977 but apparently no one remembered about the tank. Not only that, the tank had been installed to stay where it was placed.
Crews emptied it as part of the process to remove it only to discover it was bolted to a concrete slab that even an industrial-type excavator could not budge. So, the tank will stay where it is after being filled with concrete and reburied.
Google Maps has already been there so you can stand on the street just outside the park and get a good look at it.