The history of J.F. Shea Co., Inc. began in 1881 when John Francis Shea started a plumbing company in Portland, Oregon. As Portland grew, so too did the plumbing company, expanding its scope into pipelines and infrastructure projects like the Portland Seawall, sewers and tunnels. When John’s son, Charlie, took over the business he brought with him a reputation for successfully taking on complex projects. From the mid-1910s until his death in 1942, he led the company through some of the largest and most challenging engineering projects the country has known—the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, to name a few. The company is now in its fourth generation of family leadership.
The company has strengthened its position by diversifying into a number of related industries, including material production, residential construction, commercial property development and venture capital. This story of remarkable accomplishment can be attributed to firmly established traditions that will remain an important part of the company’s history of growth and prosperity well into the 21st century and beyond.