Gate Petroleum Co. was founded around 1963 by Herb Peyton, a former Billups executive
who left the company when Hess took over. I believe that he was actually the
President of Billups Eastern before he left, as his photo is in a old company
annual report I have but is currently misplaced. Although a couple of other
Florida brands such as COLONIAL and SUPERTEST had more stations at their height,
Gate Petroleum is probably the largest and most successful of all Florida independents.
For years they have reported 90-110 stations to the NPN and almost all of them are high
volume sites. The current 2002 listing shows an even 100 stations in 7 southern states.
Florida has by far the most at 61, followed by NC 13, SC 9, LA 6, GA 5, KY 5 and VA 1.
I don't know if that includes several very large new stations in North Carolina that
I believe were opened in early 2002. Over the years there have been a few "dealer" type
stations in northeast Florida, but generally everything they have now are large company run
high volume C-stores, some I consider "super-pumpers" with 8 or more MPDs.
Mr. Peyton is a self-made man who started with little and is now a millionaire,
with real estate interests and other business ventures in the Jacksonville area in addition to
Gate Petroleum. Although getting up there in years, he appears still quite active in the company
as a station manager in Greensboro, NC told me last fall he had recently been up to visit the new
stations in that area.
Here are three station photos with the older logo which was in use from the beginning
of the company right into the 1990s and might still be found at a few of the smaller stations.
TOP......Titusville, Fla. Sept. 14, 1985 Located on Florida 406 not too far west of
US 1. This is a typical GATE station built before they were into C-stores big time.
MIDDLE.....Clinton, SC. Sept 3, 1985 Located on SC 72 north. Taken on the same 1985
Florida trip, but this one has a large C-store.
BOTTOM......Big Stone Gap, Va. 1994 photo by Bob Scism when we were trading photos.
Station was on old U. S. 23. This one appears to have a smaller building and a kiosk.
Since there is only one Virginia station today, my guess is that this one has since been closed or sold off.
Here are three more recent GATE stations, all located in the southeastern part of
Jacksonville. All three photos were taken July 8, 1995.
TOP......This the headquarters location on San Jose Blvd. The office building is
located to the right of the photo and I believe there is a large warehouse behind it.
The sign sort of covers the large C-store which is a pumper.
MIDDLE......This one is on Baymeadows Rd. and has a kiosk-mini-mart and a car wash with about 6 MPDs.
BOTTOM.......San Jose Blvd., several miles to the north of the office location. This one appears
to have been a C-store conversion of a former major (AMOCO??) ranch style conventional.
Shows that not all GATE sites are look alike cookie cutter stations.
Note: San Jose Blvd. is a major road that runs north and south a mile or so west of US 1,
and someone just driving through Jacksonville would never see either of these stations.
Two shots of another gate on San Jose Blvd. in Jacksonville, FL. This one is at 9540 San Jose Blvd.
Taken June 5, 2004 by Alex Wong.
A Gate Food Post (barely visible at left) with BP-branded gas. This seems unique for Gate.
Located at 9144 Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville, FL.
Photo taken June 5, 2004 by Alex Wong.
An old Gate sign, June 2003, west of Lakeland, FL (since removed)
From Robert Droz.
Gate Petroleum, Lakeland, FL. Taken in 1999. From Robert Droz.
Two shots of an old style Gate station in Titusville, FL near US 1.
Taken Nov. 2003 by Robert Droz.
Note this is the same station as the Titusville station taken by
Walt Wimer in 1985, shown at the top of this page.
Nice to see it hasn't changed much.