Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Columbia Gas System, Inc.
This historic document was printed by the Security-Columbian Banknote Company in 1979 and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman infront of an oil field. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s Senior Vice President and Secretary and is
over 29 years old.
Columbia Gas of Virginia, which is headquarted in Richmond, Va., provides natural gas service to more than 200,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout Virginia. It has been providing natural gas service to Virginia since 1947.
Columbia Gas of Virginia’s service territory includes central Virginia through the Shenandoah Valley, portions of northern Virginia and the tidewater region. Much of Columbia Gas of Virginia’s service area lies in the so-called “Golden Crescent,” a high-growth corridor that stretches from northern Virginia south through Fredericksburg and Richmond and swings east to the state’s Hampton Roads region.
Columbia Gas of Virginia has exclusive franchise rights in 52 of Virginia’s 95 counties and it provides gas service through more than 3,600 miles of underground pipelines. The company’s customer growth rate is between 4 and 5 percent each year, which is much higher than the national average of about 2 percent per year for local distribution companies.
Columbia Gas of Virginia is a unit of NiSource Inc., a holding company with headquarters in Merrillville, Ind. NiSource's primary business is the distribution of natural gas, electricity and water in the Midwest and Northeastern United States. The company also markets utility services and customer-focused resource solutions along a corridor from Texas to Maine.
Columbia Gas of Virginia is the third largest distributor of natural gas in Virginia and it has a long history of service in the state. The company represents the composite of several formerly independent entities, and some elements of Columbia Gas of Virginia’s system dates back to pre-Civil War days with Petersburg Gas Light Co.
One of the original companies, the Petersburg and Hopewell Gas Co. began providing manufactured gas (produced from coal) to customers in the mid-1840s when its primary use was to provide gas lighting. In 1854, the Portsmouth Gas Co. was granted a franchise to provide gas service to residents of Portsmouth. At about the same period, the Natural Gas Service Co. of Fredericksburg was formed.
Portsmouth Gas Co. was acquired by Commonwealth Pipeline Corporation in 1950 – the same year in which pipeline-delivered natural gas service was introduced in Virginia. Commonwealth Gas Distribution Corporation was formed in 1955 as a subsidiary of Commonwealth Gas Pipeline. The distribution company eventually became part of Columbia Gas.
The pipeline company’s distribution operations were expanded with acquisitions of the Fredericksburg company (1965) and the Petersburg and Hopewell company in 1969. In 1980, the company became known as Commonwealth Gas Services, Inc.
In 1981, Commonwealth Gas Services merged with the Columbia Gas System. Columbia Gas of Virginia, which had been operating in the western portion of the state since 1931, merged with Commonwealth Gas in 1989. That same year, Commonwealth acquired the Lynchburg Gas Co.
On January 20, 1998, the Columbia Gas System became Columbia Energy Group, and Commonwealth Gas Services, Inc., became Columbia Gas of Virginia. Columbia Energy Group became NiSource, Inc. on November 1, 2000, making Columbia Gas of Virginia one of 10 energy distribution companies serving 3.6 million gas and electric customers primarily in nine states. Columbia Gas of Virginia has about 300 employees in Virginia and it maintains seven operations centers: in Chester, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, Lexington, Lynchburg, Suffolk, and Staunton. Its executive management team and support staff are located in Richmond.