Heritage

The spirit and direction of Sundial is founded upon and reflected in our heritage.  Historical and cultural foundations should be preserved and shared as a part of our life today.  It is important to know what happened in the past to create a successful future.

Heritage

Our Story

The Dan and Mattie Smith Family consisted of 8 children ranging from 16 to 32 years of age in the spring of 1922.  The family inherited land that Dan’s Great Grandfather has settled and succeeding generations had transformed into a working farm in 1825 in Haralson County, Georgia.  Times had been difficult, crops had failed and Dan had been forced to obtain a mortgage on the farm.  In 1923, Dan suddenly passed away, leaving Mattie with a mortgaged farm and 8 children.

Within 2 years, the 3 oldest children left the farm to establish lives in the city of Atlanta.  The oldest son, Hoke, was apprenticed to the plumbing trade and by 1926 was a Master Plumber.

The remaining children worked diligently and by 1926, they had paid the mortgage on Mattie’s Farm.  The next 2 oldest children, Roy and George then moved to Atlanta, lived with Hoke and apprenticed to the plumbing trade.  By 1940, both Roy and George were Master Plumbers, but soon again, major changes were coming.

World War II imposed changes on almost every person in the United States.  People were relocating to fill the jobs of the mighty industrial complex being created.  Roy and George found themselves in Charleston, SC, installing plumbing into the massive war ships being constructed at the Charleston Naval Yard.

 

Roy and George returned to Haralson County at the war’s end.  It is hard to comprehend the magnitude of changes the war had spawned.  Rural Haralson County and the entire south had been or were being electrified by the rural electric co-ops.  Most southerners, for the first time, had cash money.  This meant that many of the drudgeries of life were now being made easier by pumps for wells, electric lighting, oil and gas heating systems, indoor bathrooms, kitchen appliances such as refrigeration, electric/gas stoves/ovens, etc.

Roy and George decided to become part of this and in 1945 opened “Smith Brothers Plumbing Company” in Bremen, GA.  It is interesting to note that even though Bremen was a bustling small town of approximately 5,000 inhabitants; their new phone number of 15 meant there could only be 100 phones in the entire town.

Heritage

George’s son, Jack, recalls as a small child the joy those old farmers felt having water magically pumped into their kitchens and bathrooms.  Soon, everyone wanted the magic of indoor plumbing that the “Smith Brothers” provided.

Heritage

By 1950 the Smith brothers had succeeded in providing indoor plumbing to the majority of the farms around Bremen/Buchanan, Georgia.  The economy was thriving in Atlanta and the Plumbers were highly sought.  Both Roy and George were offered the unheard of salaries of $100.00 each per week.  (The average weekly salary at that time would have been around $30 per week.)

George spent the next 22 years working as a Master Plumber until his death in 1972.  Roy became DeKalb County’s Plumbing Inspector until his retirement in 1980.

Roy’s son, Max Smith, became a Master Plumber and started a plumbing company in 1968 which he operates today.

In 1963 George’s son, Jack Smith, and his wife Dixie Bradbury Smith, found themselves with new family responsibilities and very limited marketable skills, for Dixie had dropped out of high school and Jack had dropped out of the University of Georgia after only 2 years.  Their “temporary” relocation to Marietta to facilitate Jack’s desire to complete his college studies, while also working at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, instead turned into a permanent relocation.  Again, world events intervened.  Lockheed was awarded a contract to design and build the world’s most advanced and largest aircraft, the C-5A.  Jack recalls the thousands of dedicated and talented individuals who devoted ten or more years of their lives in this endeavor.  “I will never forget the pride and joy we all felt when the C-5 lifted off the ground for its first flight”, says Jack. 

Jack’s father George passed away suddenly in 1972 just after Jack had begun a small plumbing company – Sundance Plumbing. 

Interest rates of over 20% had dulled the new housing market, but, signs of prosperity were beginning to return.  So in 1979, Jack left Lockheed to run the plumbing company along with his brother-in-law Gerald Laminack.  Who could have predicted the coming housing boom that occurred virtually from 1980 until 2009?  Oh, there were temporary interruptions, but especially the Atlanta area saw an unprecedented building boom lasting almost 30 years.

Heritage

In 1993, tragedy interfered with the death of Jack’s business partner, Gerald Laminack.  By then Sundance Plumbing Company was a dominant force in the new home market and also light commercial projects.  Their service and repair company had grown to over 30 trucks alone.  Sensing the time was right, Jack sold the company to a national company. 

After 2 years of retirement, Jack & Mitzi, his daughter, began Sundial Plumbing.  The housing market was strong enough in 1999 to get the new company launched.  Sundial grew rapidly and employed more than 50 technicians by 2001.

September 11, 2001, and its aftermath forced Mitzi & Jack to reevaluate the company’s business objective.  Again, who could have predicted the coming collapse of our financial system that effectively halted all new construction in 2009?  Mitzi’s leadership sustained the company thru these trying times and today Sundial is poised to dominate the plumbing repair market.  Her refusal to participate in the “recession”, her determination to reinvent Sundial as a repair company, her willingness to invest and go forward against conventional wisdom, and her personal investment into the community at large has brought in many awards and accolades to Sundial Plumbing and positioned it as being one of Cobb County’s most extraordinary businesses along with being its preeminent plumbing company.

Heritage

To date, the passion for plumbing has been an influence on the Smith Family for 3 generations encompassing almost 90 years.  Through the generations the family has been devoted to providing maintenance of health through safe and comfortable plumbing systems.

 Heritage

 


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