Founded in 1909 by Charles Hutchins, Dead River Company had its roots in the forest products industry. The company was named for the Dead River, which flowed through much of its timberland in remote areas of Western Maine. In the 1930s, Curtis Hutchins took over management of the company from his father. The purchase of a small petroleum bulk storage plant, four gasoline stations and an Esso franchise, in 1936, marked Dead River Company's entrance into the petroleum business.
Steady expansion throughout Eastern, Northern and Central Maine followed, and we established our headquarters in Bangor. In 1981, we sold nearly all of our timberland to the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Indian Nation as part of an historic settlement. The sale was an opportunity for us to enter the commercial real estate business. During the 1980s, we also embarked on a major petroleum expansion plan that included Southern Maine and New Hampshire. Several retail heating oil locations were either started or acquired. Growth was rapid.