Uncovering the Beginning of Our 120 Year Old Story – W. L. Gary’s 120th Anniversary
When parts of history literally go up in flames, it can take a lot of digging to piece the story back together. After the 1968 riots in DC, the beginning of the W. L. Gary Company story was lost; until now. Over the past several years, we have slowly uncovered different fragments of our company’s past all culminating in establishing that we are 120 years old this year!
Looking at both volumes of Boyd’s Directory of the District of Columbia and newspaper advertisements of the time, we have ascertained that our founder, Walker Littlebury Gary, became involved in the heating industry as late as 1894 and was requesting help for his shop by 1895.
In October of 1895, Walker Gary had an advertisement published in The Evening Star reading, “WANTED – A good tinner and furnace hand. Apply to W. L. Gary, 1922 14th n.w.” Since this is the only advertisement found to date, we are not sure of the exact timing of the opening of W. L. Gary Company but it is clear it was in 1895.
Walker Gary kept his business thriving over the years and incorporated it in 1923, a very rare occurrence for heating and plumbing businesses of the time. When Walker Gary passed in 1930, he left a legacy with his family that this company has been proud to continue over the past century.
While discovering a few extra years of company history doesn’t change who or what W. L. Gary Company was or is today, it is exciting to have a better sense of our beginnings and to share that beginning with you.
Join us in celebrating W. L. Gary Company’s 120th Anniversary as a plumbing and heating company serving our nation’s capital.