Colonial Photos

A Colonial station in Blackshear, Georgia sometime in the 1950s.
Submitted by Jason Canon.

The above photos are from Walt Wimer. He has included a detailed explanation for this Florida brand and the photos themselves:

Colonial Oil Co. of Jacksonville, Florida was founded in the early 1930's and grew to be one of the largest Florida based Private Brand companies, marketing in both Florida and Georgia. They had a deep water terminal at Jacksonville, a chain of over 50 company owned stations and also distributed to some 100-150 dealer stations in the two states. The had some pretty good hi-volume stations in major cities such as Jacksonville and Orlando, but many of their other company stations in smaller towns were rather second rate. However, compared to their major brand competition, they often had better sites. After taking a big hit from the energy crisis in the 70s, they sold out around 1977 to U-Save Automatic (USA Petroleum), a California based operator of pumper self-serv stations. USA rebranded many of the better COLONIAL sites, but pretty much sold off others and phased out the dealer operation. USA is still in business, as I have seen stations in St. Clairsville, Ohio and Goldsboro, NC in the past year. However, I don't know if they still have anything from the former Colonial stations in Florida.

In 1977 I was riding around Jacksonville during a return trip to Florida and came upon the company headquarters and terminal. There was an open garage next to the office and I happened to spot several globes sitting on a shelf. About that time the company sales manager happened by and to make the story short, he gave me one of the globes. But he told me "Don't ever tell anyone where you got it as Mr. Love (the company founder/president) might not approve". Mr. Love has probably gone on to his just reward, so I guess it doesn't hurt to tell the story now!! Anyway, it became the 4th globe in my small collection which is about 25 today. (Too bad the next 21 didn't come for the same price...FREE!!!)

Here are the descriptions for the above three COLONIAL photos:

TOP......Jacksonville, Florida in 1977. This is typical of their better stations in Jacksonville and Orlando. Note the plastic sign, a type that showed up only at their better sites and was only used a few years before the company sold out. The big sign on top of the station was neon.

MIDDLE......1960 "Mike's Highway Service" in Orange City, Florida, located just north of town on US 17-92. I must have passed this station "a hundred" times when I was living in DeLand and going to school there in 1959-1963. This was one of their better dealer stations as many were of the "mom & pop" type so common in north Florida/south Georgia at that time. Unfortunately, Mike's Highway Service was no longer there when I was back in 1995. The way things had changed, I couldn't even figure exactly where it had been.

BOTTOM.......Feb. 13, 1977. This one actually was in Georgia, at Jessup on US 301. I only included it due to the close-up of the pumps w/globes. COLONIAL globes came in both glass wide body (shown here) and Capco. These pumps are both red, but usually there were white pumps for premium. In the 1950's they used a checkerboard design on the bottom of their pumps and I have one other photo that shows this.

COLONIAL left us with a full range of collectibles including globes, porcelain signs oil cans and pump plates. However, not much in road maps but a SIGMA issue around 1970. But it does run in my mind that Dave Leach may have one other generic type?? They also gave away gift coupons and had a couple of catalogs that are rarely seen today.

These are some other Colonial scans that I have received. The one on the left
is Colonial Beacon, Esso affiliate from the 1920's and 1930's (per Robert Droz.)
Per David Aldred, the one on the right is for Colonial Oil Industries of Savannah, GA.
David also remembers stopping at a station branded Interstate,
which had Colonial shield decals on the pumps.
John Cirillo

And here is one of those Colonial Oil of Savannah, GA stations now:

This shot was taken on US 41 north of Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo taken in Nov. 2004 by Robert Droz.