Gault Then & Now: A Tradition of Service and Progress
The story of Gault Energy, family-owned and run for 145 years, is an exceptional one, impressive for its length, but most of all, for the consistency of the company's vision through five generations of management.
In the beginning, there were Gault Energy wagons, transporting grain to rural Westport farms, which became Gault Energy trucks. Then, evolving with the town's needs, the loads changed, from feed to lumber to coal to gravel, stone and fuel. Through it all, from its beginnings as a hauling company in 1863, to its current role as an energy
solutions company, Gault Energyhas always stood for service to the community, as well as to its customers.
Gault Energy is proud to be the oldest family-owned and -operated fuel company in Fairfield County - and the oldest business in Westport, led by a loyal team of employees, serving a growing base of customers. Today, as always, Gault Energy continues to change with the times, "walking the walk" of its commitment to serve, with a strong focus on energy conservation.
1850 – Robert Gault arrived in America from Northern Ireland. Robert worked on a dairy farm in Norwalk before heading west to work on the Erie Canal.
1898 – Howard Wheeler Gault is born — Leonard's son.
1919 – The first Gault motor truck was in operation, a forerunner of today's fleet, which includes over 50 vehicles. Howard entered the family business.
– Leonard Gault purchased Taylor & Richards feed–grain and coal business on Main Street, in Westport, and coal became the primary product sold.
– The name of the business was changed to L.H. Gault & Son.
1929 – The storage tank location was acquired, at 563 Riverside Avenue, to provide deep water docking for larger coal and sand barges, and then oil tankers, which began supplying the new and growing oil business. The large gray tank, a familiar landmark along the Saugatuck River, distinguishes the company as one of the few its size to have its own fuel oil storage capacity.
1932 – Gault, Inc. was made the incorporated business name by Howard Gault.
1952 – William L. Gault joined the firm, to carry on the Gault tradition of honesty and commitment to the customer.
1960's – 1980's – Gault Inc. expanded to six divisions, under William's direction, which now include fuel oil, burner service, air conditioning, oil tanks, sand & gravel, and mason supplies.
– The fifth generation of Gaults arrives: Sam Gault, and his brother–in–law, Jim Donaher. William and Nancy's children, Ginger and Sam, as well as Ginger's husband, Jim, have carried on the family business, dedicated to providing their customers with the highest quality of service.
– A new service inventory and dispatching system is put in place
1990's – The Oil Tank & Environmental Safety Division is established
– Service area expanded to Darien and New Canaan.
1990's – HARCO Air Conditioning purchased, adding a sixth division to the thriving business.
1998 – Modern new offices on Ferry Lane West, streamlining operations to better serve customers.
New Stone & Brick Showroom opened, offering a greater variey of merchandise.
2001 – Purchase of Bethel Masonry Supply enabled the Company to continue to operate one of its core businesses while significantly increasing its territory.
2003 – Additional properties acquired in Norwalk and Bethel in order to expand storage, mechanic's facilities and yard space.
– Introduction of new computer software maximized the latest in information technology to manage administrative, operational and financial tasks, ensuring seamless service and a better work environment.
– Computerization of service vans to speed response time.
– Addition of propane to Gault's energy solution offerings.
2008 – Alliance with Polar Bear International, Gault's unprecedented grassroots initiative to "walk the walk" of energy conservation.
2009 – Launch of new communications tools and new look for Gault, including improved features for Gault Online Services, to serve customers better and save them time, too.
- Gault launches its Home Energy Audit division to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient.
2010 - Gault Energy partners with Verde Energy to launch Gault Power, a low-cost electricity alternative.
– Gault Energy expands its energy services and begins selling and servicing natural gas boilers and furnaces
– Hamilton Development, the real estate arm of the Gault family of businesses, breaks ground on its transit-oriented development, Saugatuck Center.
Gault Riverside Avenue oil tank is demolished, uncovering pristine sand underneath, a testament to the tank’s quality construction. Over the tank’s 54-year lifespan, not a drop of oil was leaked.
2011 - Hamilton Development completes Phase I of Saugatuck Center, which includes the Marsh and Tide waterside buildings, housing 4,000 sq. ft. of street-level retail space, as well as 5,000 sq. ft. of office space overlooking the Saugatuck River, and six residential apartments on the second floor.
- Gault Energy purchases Northfield Oil in Greenwich to enhance customer base in Greenwich, Stamford and parts of Westchester County.
2012 - Hamilton Development breaks ground on Phase II of Saugatuck Center which will include 4400sq. ft. of retail space and 21 residential apartments.