"It is important to look ahead, to recognize the opportunities that our experience, technical strengths and resources offer for the future."
More than just the story of another contracting company, the history of J. F. White is a legacy of simple beginnings, hard work, family values and perseverance spanning more than eighty-five years, yielding great success and impressive accomplishments. Closely tied to the history of Boston and New England, J. F. White has played an integral role in this region’s progress by helping build the infrastructure that supports the daily life of the area.
The First Generation – Groundwork
The company's founder, Joseph F. White, Sr., defined the character of the company, reflecting his personal ideals, work ethic and business savvy. After buying his first truck in 1918, Joe White was well positioned to provide the materials required by road builders. From 1924 to 1930, he branched into foundation excavation.
Success nearly turned to financial ruin as the Great Depression began in 1929; in fact, Joe was forced into personal bankruptcy. Never one to give up, he formed White Fuels and employed his personnel and equipment hauling coal for heating. Soon Joe's finances improved, and he paid off every creditor impacted by his earlier bankruptcy. Read more on The First Generation
The Second Generation – Diversification and Growth
In 1945, Tom White and his brothers Joe Jr. and John returned from World War II and revived the contracting business. In the postwar economy, public agencies and municipalities emerged as key players providing construction opportunities. Principal among these at the time was The Metropolitan District Commission, or MDC, which awarded construction contracts for the region's water and sewer systems, roads and recreational facilities.
Starting with a modest job cutting ski trails and building a new ski tow at the MDC Blue Hills Reservation, J. F. White’s success with MDC projects continued; in 1950, the company was low bidder on what is today known as Storrow Drive. But it was the Charles River Dam project that transformed J. F. White from a New England road builder and excavating contractor to a competent and well-recognized heavy/civil contractor. Ever-larger projects followed in waves: the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Facility, a vital component of the cleanup of Boston Harbor; The Ted Williams Tunnel; and finally the North to Chardon segment of the CA/T, connecting the existing harbor tunnels to the newly depressed I-93 North and South. Read more on The Second Generation
The Third Generation – Service, Stability and Specialization
The company's history shows a versatility that enables the organization to move quickly into shifting markets, to establish trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with strategic partners, and to adopt new technologies that improve the construction process.
J. F. White’s present leadership has teamed in a unique way to guide the Company into, through and beyond the next phase of its development. Markets continue to evolve in new ways, projects require new approaches, clients depart from long-established tradition. Design/build and private market work are a current and future reality. J. F. White Contracting Co. will continue to apply the lessons learned through the years to continue to provide an exceptional workplace to our people, superior work quality to our clients, a safe-site environment, and always a cost-effective approach to complex construction tasks.