A Brief History of Gilbert Engineering

Gilbert Engineering was founded in 1926 in Hendersonville, NC by John N. Gilbert, Sr. At that time, the company owned one used pickup truck, two wheelbarrows, and a few hand shovels and picks. Two years later, the charter was changed, and the firm moved to Statesville, native home of the owner.

The company's founder, John Gilbert, Sr., an engineer by training, was a business entrepreneur and a visionary who had the philosophy that "if you see a need, you meet it" and he capitalized on many opportunities to expand hs business. Not only did he incorporate Gilbert Engineering Company in 1926, he also later branched out to own and manage a rock quarry, a concrete company, and even a restaurant.
The rock quarry came about as a result of the need for rip rap for the construction of the two bridges over Lake Norman on I-77 in 1960. The quarry was located in Hwy. 150 near Mooresville, and it was responsible for supplying all the washed stone for the construction of I-77.
The concrete company was originally founded in Statesville by Glibert Engineering Company in order to respond to the tremendous need for transit mixed Portland cement concrete for the construction of J.C. Penney Distribution Center in 1947. The original fleet consitsted of four Rex, two cubic yard mixers mounted on two-ton trucks. A second plant was opened by Gilbert Engineering Company in 1948 in Newton. Not long after, Gilbert Ready Mixed Concrete was incorporated as a separate corporation and expansion continued with plants opening in Taylorsville, 1958, Wilkesboro, 1960, Mooresville, 1961, and Hickory, 1965. The company enjoyed a reputation for the consistent satisfaction of contractors, architects, engineers, and owners meeting tight specifications and timeframes. Some of the facilities built with Gilbert Ready Mixed Concrete include W. Kerr Scott Dam on the Yadkin River new Wilkesboro, the Marshall Steam Generating Station on Lake Norman, and Catawba Memorial Hospital near Hickory.
Perhaps the most unusual venture of John Gilbert, Sr. was the opening in 1950 of his restaurant, the Chuck House. Located on Hwy 64W, the Chuck House boasted of "Air Conditioning" and a catering business, via the "Chuck Wagon" that used to provide on site lunches to local industry. The restaurant, previously known as the Clinker Brick Villa, was converted to the Chuck House by John, Sr. and featured western style pit cooked roast beef with au jus that John, Sr.  had experienced on a trip to Texas.

In today's world of specialization, the Gilbert family has sold the rock quarry, the concrete company and the restaurant to concentrate on the cornerstone of John, Sr.'s companies, Gilbert Engineering Company. But one thing that hasn't changed are the basic tenets and values that are the foundation of such a long and successful history. The company still operates under the philosophy of meeting all the needs of its customers and maintaining a broad spectrum of expertise while providing a level of service not offered elsewhere.
Gilbert Engineering Company is managed today by John N. Gilbert Jr., son of the founder, and John N. Gilbert III, grandson of the founder. The company has been in business over 85 years and has a reputation for uncompromising integrity and quality.

After so many years in operation, Gilbert Engineering Company maintains its family ownership and management. We call this "size manageability" and consider it an advantage in our industry. It allows us to give personal attention from the principals of the company to meeting the needs of our customers, both external and internal. The company's goals are still the same as they were in 1926 - to be the best in the business. The best in meeting our customers' needs, the best place to work, the best construction expertise available, the best quality products and service, the best place to grow and achieve goals and recognition - simply the best in the business that we conduct.


The team members of Gilbert Engineering Company realize that what Gilbert has to offer are not only buildings and utilities, it is service and it is a relationship. The service of providing construction expertise, strict quality control, cost efficiency, and the fulfillment of our customer's needs. Our number one commitments are to quality and to our customers. We do things because they are the right thing to do and we do things a certain way because that is the right way to do them. Meeting our customer's needs with unequaled quality is our number one priority and it shows in the relationships we have developed over the years. We are neither the cheapest, nor the biggest; those are not our goals - but we are the best and continually strive to stay that way.

A Brief Glimpse into Gilbert Engineering's History

Contact Us

Gilbert Engineering Company
638 South Meeting Street
Statesville, NC 28677
Phone:  704-872-0986

Fax:  704-878-0900


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Gilbert Engineering Company