Jackman’s Inc. marking its 85th year in business

BRISTOL — What does it take to maintain a business for nearly a century? Ask the members of the Jackman family, who are gearing up to celebrate their Bristol company’s 85th anniversary this Saturday.
Jackman’s Inc., originally known as Jackman Coal and Coke Co., began selling coal and firewood in 1930 under the direction of Glenn Jackman. Since the company’s founding, three generations of the Jackman family have now owned and operated the home energy supply company, which has seen a variety of fuel sources come and go over the decades and more recently added plumbing and heating services.
The company this summer also added a home heating showroom at its 32 Pine St. home, which it will celebrate with a grand opening on Saturday along with its anniversary.
After founding the company, Glenn Jackman was soon joined in business by his two sons, Fred in 1946 and Glenn Jr. in 1950. Around that time, the company began fuel oil and kerosene sales, with LP gas coming later.
After Glenn Jr. passed away in 1974, Fred Jackman became the sole owner of Jackman’s Inc. The company is now owned by Peter and Paul Jackman, who bought the business from their father when he retired in 1995. Today, their grandfather’s home can still be seen from the Jackman’s Inc. showroom.
Their business remains in its original location in Bristol, but Jackman’s Inc. has seen a huge shift in its product offerings as the fuel industry has developed throughout the last 85 years.
At the time of the company’s founding, coal was brought into a trestle and dumped into the top by train before being pulled out of a hopper and placed into dump trucks for home deliveries.
Now, Jackman’s Inc. sells fuel oil, kerosene, LP gas, wood pellets, coal and firewood. They also offer on- and off-road diesel and bio-fuel products at their retail pumps.
And looking ahead to a future that may see natural gas piped into Bristol’s village area, the Jackmans say they’ll roll with the times and continue to focus on what has always served them well —customer service.
Sharon Bushey, the company’s bookkeeper, who has worked at Jackman’s Inc. for 26 years, said that their employees are all willing and able to help members of the community.
“Our employees are the kind of people that will say, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that, because I can.’ We’re very tied to the community because we have a lot to do with people’s homes,” she said.
Peter Jackman explained that the same community spirit that motivates their workers today has always been important to the company.
“We treat people how they’d like to be treated and try to have everybody who works here think the same way,” he said.
He recalled a time when a neighbor’s well dried up, so he and a group of employees helped get his water restored that same night.
“Basically, we do what we feel like. If it seems right at the time, we do it,” he said. “We don’t worry about if it’s going to make money. We’ve always done that.”
When reflecting on owning an inter-generational business, Peter spoke of the pride he feels in continuing his family’s legacy.
“My father wanted us to stay small and not be corporate, so that’s what we did,” he said.
Jackman’s Inc. delivers to the five-town area around Bristol and has begun servicing areas of Middlebury and Ripton and as far north as Richmond.
Members of the community are invited to attend Jackman’s Inc.’s showroom grand opening and 85th anniversary celebration on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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