It all begin in 1952
In 1952 John F. Tilghman, who had been working as the operations manager of Holt Oil Company, decided to go out on his own and start Tilghman Oil Company. He started with a 1952 Chevrolet oil truck with a 1200 gallon tank. His first customers were family and friends in the town of Federalsburg Maryland and surrounding areas. He sold fuel oil and kerosene, which were replacing coal as the new way to heat your house, in any quantity from 5 gallon cans on up. The supplier for the newly formed Tilghman Oil Company was a shell jobber from Seaford Delaware named Bob Allen. Bob and John made a detailed business plan for the construction of Shell Gas Stations around the shore. They sealed the deal with a handshake. That agreement lasted 40 years and led to Shell stations in Federalsburg, 2 in Salisbury, 1 in Ocean City and 1 in Fenwick.
The 1950’s and 1960’s
Tilghman Oil has always been a family business and nobody knew that better than John Tilghman’s three sons who all worked for their father. They each began pumping gas at their father’s gas stations. For those of you who can remember the gas stations of the 1950’s and 1960’s were full service. That meant that the oil and tires were checked and the windshield was washed for every car.
24 Hour Fueling on The Delmarva
In 1964 PHILIP L TILGHMAN came to work for Tilghman Oil full time after graduating from Washington College. He worked to expand Tilghman Oil in new ways such as bringing the first 24 hour fueling system to the Eastern Shore. In 1990 Tilghman Oil bought out Sharp Energy’s petroleum division. In the same year an office was opened in Pocomoke City to better serve Somerset and Worcester Counties.
Three Generations and counting
The Tilghman Family tradition continued in 1992 when Pat Tilghman came to the business to join his father. Since that time Tilghman Oil has expanded their efforts to work with not only the home heat accounts but with the farming community and construction industry. In 1997 Tilghman Oil opened the first of 4 marinas in Ocean City. Now they also offer commercial and residential tank cleaning.