Gault Seeks Sesquicentennial Stuff

When they’re not brutally bashing each other in the Comments section, “06880” readers are united in a love of Westport’s past.

So today’s post is something we all can agree on: Helping Gault celebrate its 150-year legacy in town.

Today, the company that’s morphed from coal, sand and oil into energy solutions launches a “Call for Memories” campaign. The aim: putting a modern spin on the time-honored tradition of sending congratulatory messages.

An early delivery truck. Check out the phone number on the side: "5181." Today, it's 203-227-5181.

A delivery truck in 1939. Check out the phone number on the side: “5181.” Today, it’s 203-227-5181.

At a mere 100 years old — in 1963, the year civil rights protesters were fire-hosed in Alabama, and JFK was killed — Gault received hundreds of letters, cards and telegrams (!). Senders shared personal memories of great experiences with the company and family.

Telegrams have gone the way of the Gaults’ 1st delivery method — horse-drawn wagons. Cards and letters are headed that way soon.

So this time, Westport’s oldest business has created an online site — — to collect 150th-anniversary memories from family friends, organizations, trade partners, and Gault Energy & Stone employees and customers across Fairfield County.

These memories will be showcased on the company’s anniversary website, as well as in a commemorative booklet and at this summer’s Westport Historical Society exhibit, “Five Generations of Yankee Ingenuity: The Gault Family.”

Gault's facility once towered over its Riverside Avenue neighbors, like the Jockey Club.

Gault’s facility towered over its Riverside Avenue neighbors — like the legendary Jockey Club directly in front — in this 1953 shot.

Sam Gault — the 5th generation to lead the company, who was born (cue the eerie music) during that centennial year — has spent several months passing around the company’s 100th anniversary files, which were sealed for 50 years.

“Many of us saw these for the very first time,” Sam says. “It’s amazing to read through everything my father and grandfather received 5 decades ago. These mementos are priceless to me and to my family.”

Now, Sam says, “we’re scanning hundreds of fragile documents and photos that trace our family and company’s 150-year history. This campaign will assure that our more recent history will be preserved for the next 150 years and beyond.”

Sam hopes these memories — like first selectman Gordon Joseloff playing baseball in the 1950son Gault Field (now houses on Imperial Avenue) — will inspire others to describe how the Gault family and businesses have touched their lives.

Gault Field, on the river side of Imperial Avenue, brought Little League baseball to Westport.

Gault Field, on the river side of Imperial Avenue, brought Little League baseball to Westport in 1947.

Three generations of the Gault family will choose some of those memories for inclusion in a time capsule at the family’s Compo Road South barn. It will be opened at the company’s 200th anniversary.

“06880” readers in 2063 will no doubt still enjoy looking back, when not engaged in debates over the poor parking habits of hovercraft drivers, and whether the YMCA should move from its longtime Mahackeno home to a new location.

(To submit memories to the Gault site, click here. For more information about the Gault family history and the company’s 150th anniversary celebration, click here.)

2 responses to “Gault Seeks Sesquicentennial Stuff

  1. Dan, I sent them a picture of the small football I still have – the ones thrown into the crowd during football games way back then. L.H. Gault & Sons was one of the sponsors. Not sure if it qualifies as Sesquicentennial-worthy but it’s worth a smile.

  2. Fred Cantor

    M Hart–definitely worth a smile! I recall seeing that at the reunion.