The History of Go-Mart

August 10, 2012

So, I can’t lie.

I haven’t for 98 posts, and I’m not going to start now.

Alright, that’s a bit of a lie.

I feel like this is more of a report for class and less of a blog post.

It’s like Mr. Bollinger stepped to the front of the room.

“Now, boys and girls, I’m going to give you an assignment. I want you to write… a theme.”

As the class groans, Mr. Bollinger tells us that he wants 500 words on the history of Go-Mart.

So, just like I would in that situation, I Googled it. And just like I would after Googling most anything, I linked to the Wikipedia article and instantly became an expert.

Turns out, Go-Mart goes all the way back to 1914, damn near 100 years ago now. Three brothers with the apt surname Heater began the Heater Oil company. They sold different greases and oils, things very important to that old-timey world of clockwork machines and crazy steam-driven mechanisms.

Since they lived in Gassaway, WV, they supplied mainly to farms and businesses in central West Virginia and used nifty flat-bottomed boats to tow goods up and down the Little Kanawha River.

Within ten years, the company began opening plants along the railroad, shipping to greater distances than rivers would allow. But the Great Depression hit hard and one of the Heaters died, so the others decided to centralize the company in Gassaway.

By 1964, the company passed hands to the sons of the original owners, who continued to oversee the thriving business.

When self-service pumps where introduced in 1970, the Heaters set up the first fully self-service gas station in all of West Virginia, and they picked Shinnston as the home of the brand-new so-called “Go-Tron.”

I know, I know. It sounds like a really cheap rip off of Transformers, cheaper than Go-Bots or even the recent Transmorphers, but it’s not. Trust me, I’m an expert now.

Soon after, they rebuilt their Gassaway store into their first convenience store, and called it “Go-Mart.”

Personally, I prefer Go-Tron, but that’s just me. It makes me think of robots. Giant gasoline robots.

By the mid-70’s, there were 16 stores. That’s really nothing compared to the 1200 or so that it owns today.

As for the rest, as they say… it’s history. Go-Mart hasn’t been the center of any scandals, controversies or massive spills like Exxon and more recently BP.

Go-Mart still stands today as one of the larger gas stations around town.

And I’m glad. I usually get my gas there. Seems like it runs the best in my car. I know people think that’s generally a load of crap.

These days, Go-Mart is great for gassing up you and your car. Before I shipped out for my internship every week, I’d fill up and great a couple Apple Uglies for the road.

Mmmm… so sticky and delicious…



This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks to Mr. Bollinger for the challenge and for standing in as the teacher for this post. He did an exceptional job.

So, yeah… gas stations are now in the mix.

It’s really hard to tell where these things are going, right?

SIDENOTE: Got to wondering on Monday the 13th why links hadn’t gone out to this yet. Turns out it didn’t post properly because of the internet outage last week. So, today is like a two-fer! Merry Krimbis!

Truly ghjr


One Response to “The History of Go-Mart”

  1. Daniel Says:

    I’d probably give you a B+…maybe an A- for humor. I’m glad you actually attempted it. And while it wasn’t the most inspiring topic, was it not somewhat interesting? Also, they don’t have 1200 stores, they have a little over a hundred. :)

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