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100 Years of Comfort

100 Years of Comfort

A Century of Service and Growth

Since 1922, we’ve had the pleasure of bringing comfort to the communities of Charlottesville and Albemarle community. What began as a small, backyard plumbing business has evolved into a full-service home comfort systems company with a century-long reputation for quality and service.

Old photo of W.E. Brown offices

Giving Back Together:
Vote to Make a Difference in Charlottesville

To celebrate our 100 Years in Charlottesville and Albemarle, we want to give back to the community that makes our work so rewarding. We will be giving away two checks; $20,000, and $10,000 to the top voted for local non-profits. Cast your vote below:

Place Your Vote

Name *
Email *
Non-Profit *
Did we miss one? Write-in your favorite local nonprofit!

Learn More About the Non-Profit Candidates:

The Arts

  • Music Resource Center

    The Music Resource Center is a safe, diverse and creative community experience where teens build interpersonal and industry skills through the universal language of music. Find out more at musicresourcecenter.org

  • Writer House

    WriterHouse is a non-profit 501©3 corporation dedicated to the support of authors of all levels and genres. Their mission is to promote the creation and appreciation of literature and to…

  • Light House Studio

    Light House Studio is a nonprofit youth filmmaking center offering year-round workshops in documentary, narrative, music video, and animation filmmaking techniques. They teach young people to direct, produce, and edit…

  • Help Portrait

    Help Portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back this holiday season. Each December, photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists all around…

Education

  • Building Goodness Foundation

    Building Goodness Foundation (BGF) is a nonprofit construction organization. The organization connects skilled volunteers from the design and construction industries with high-impact nonprofit organizations in need of new or renovated…

  • Camp Holiday Trails

    Camp Holiday Trails is a caring community committed to empowering, encouraging and educating Campers with chronic illnesses, their families and healthcare professionals. Find out more at campholidaytrails.org

  • Girls On The Run

    Girls on the Run® is a 501©3 non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Find out…

  • ReadyKids

    ReadyKids prepares kids to be Ready to Learn by providing quality early learning experiences and Ready for Relationships by supporting positive, nurturing and healthy family relationships. Find out more at…

  • Backpack Buddies

    Backpack Buddies helps prepare underprivileged children for each upcoming school year by providing them with all of the necessary school supplies and backpacks at no cost. Over the past eight…

  • Oakland School

    Oakland School is a small co-ed boarding and day school that enables bright children who benefit from a small class size and individualized program to reach their academic and personal…

  • Computers4Kids

    Computers 4 Kid’s mission is to empower youth (7-12th grade) from low-income families to be prepared with the 21st-century skills required to attend college, pursue meaningful careers, and ultimately, break…

  • The Reading Tub

    The single most important determinant for becoming a successful reader is the amount of reading material at home. The Reading Tub is an all-volunteer nonprofit for family reading and literacy…

Veteran Appreciation

  • Parade Rest

    ParadeRest Virginia is a civil-military outreach program that expresses gratitude to those who have bravely served in our armed forces. They offer tickets to entertainment and shows for soldiers and…

Food

  • Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

    Loaves & Fishes provides groceries at no cost to low-income families within and around the Charlottesville community. Find out more at cvilleloavesandfishes.org

  • PB&J Fund

    The PB&J Fund connects Charlottesville youth with the resources and knowledge necessary to help develop a healthy diet. Find out more at pbandjfund.org

  • Red Shoe Cville

    Founded in Charlottesville, VA in January 2012, Red Shoe Cville (RSC) is a group of local philanthropic community members who provide support to the RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE of CHARLOTTESVILLE (RMHC).…

Shelter

  • PACEM

    PACEM is a grassroots organization that coordinates space and volunteers to provide shelter for individuals in our community who are homeless. Find out more at pacemshelter.org

  • The Haven

    The Haven is a multi-resource day shelter for people facing homelessness in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Find out more at thehaven.org

  • Piedmont CASA

    Piedmont Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Inc. provides trained volunteers and professional staff to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children and youth, promoting and supporting safe,…

Healthcare and Rehabilitation

  • Love in the Name of Christ

    Love INC mobilizes The Church to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ. Find out more at loveinccville.org

  • The Bridge Line

    The Bridge Line enriches the lives of adults with acquired brain injuries by fostering independence through individualized day and residential services. Find out more at thebridgeline.org

  • The Arc of the Piedmont

    The Arc of Piedmont’s mission is to ensure full community inclusion and participation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the provision of services and advocacy. Find out more…

  • MaDee Project

    The MaDee Project is a 501©(3) non-profit organization that provides support to pediatric cancer patients and their families in Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County and counties that border Augusta. Find out…

  • All Blessings Flow

    All Blessings Flow is a local faith-based non-profit organization that was founded to improve the quality of life and dignity of individuals living with disabilities. Our primary mission is to…

Family Services

  • Community Investment Collaborative

    CIC’s mission is to strengthen our community and contribute to economic development by fueling the success of under-resourced entrepreneurs through education, mentoring, financing, and networking.

  • Child Health Partnership

    The Child Health Partnership partners with families to create a nurturing home environment and promote the health and well-being of children in our community.

  • Ishan Gala Foundation

    We’re honored to partner with <a href=”https://ishangala.org/” target=”blank_”>The Ishan Gala Foundation</a> (IGF), a nonprofit that works to bring comfort to families battling cancer and improve their quality of life throughout…

Animals

  • Caring for Creatures

    Caring For Creatures is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit no-kill animal sanctuary established in 1987 dedicated to caring for homeless animals and enhancing the human-animal bond. Caring For Creatures provides animals with…

  • Service Dogs of Virginia

    Service Dogs of Virginia is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places dogs to assist people with disabilities. Highly trained dogs perform a multitude of tasks that…

The History of W.E. Brown

1922

The business is founded by W.E. “Willie” Brown and Guy Johnson. It was originally named Brown & Johnson and was located in a little building on Second Street Southwest.

1924

Brown receives his master plumber’s license from the City of Charlottesville. It is thought to be the oldest such license in the city.

1928

Brown and Johnson decide to part ways, and the company is officially named “W.E. Brown”. The business moves to a larger building on the 500 block of West Main Street.

Old photo of W.E. Brown offices

1932

W. E. Brown completes plumbing work at Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater. The total cost of the project, which includes the installation of hot and cold water lines into the boiler room, was $143 total.

1943

Though plumbing and heating services and appliances sales were doing well, the onslaught of the Depression hits hard. Brown closes the West Main facility and moves operations to his backyard. For the next 7 years, Brown works out of his garage on Douglas Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood.

1945

Brown’s daughter Barbara’s partner, Merritt P. “Duke” Martin joins the family firm. Martin helps the business add on new services, including air and water heating and sheet metal services.

Staircase

1950

W.E. Brown buys four lots on Monticello Road in Belmont. They open up a building of twenty-four feet by eighty feet that is still part of the company’s offices today.

1963

Brown’s son, Gene, becomes president of the firm. The facility continues to expand and grow at 915 Monticello Road.

Black and white photo of front-window featuring anniversary logo

1978

Barbara’s and Merritt’s son, John Martin, takes the reins of the family-owned company.

Close-up of team members
Team posing
Jay and Jim talking on a couch

Today

Now, with almost one hundred employees and a fleet of more than fifty service trucks, W.E. Brown is still headquartered in the Belmont neighborhood and still known for 5-star home comfort services.

Birthday graphic with service icons

Thank You

Our story and our mission would not be the same without our customers. From Charlottesville businesses to local universities to homes across Albemarle County, each customer gives us the opportunity to bring more comfort to our community.

Thank you for your loyalty, support and trust. From day one, our commitment has been to deliver services that exceed your expectations and provide the utmost comfort. It is this promise that gives us our history and guarantees our future. Here’s to another century of comfort!