(Jefferson, Ga., April 27, 2012) – In 1938, a small group of Northeast Georgia residents who were determined to bring power to their homes, farms and businesses were granted an electric cooperative charter. Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) was born and began life by serving around 1,000 meters over 349 miles of energized wire. In 2013 the cooperative will celebrate a milestone anniversary and is seeking stories, photos, and other materials from the three quarters of a century that it has provided electricity to the people who own it.
“Jackson EMC powered its lines for the first time in 1939, bringing what many considered the miracle of electric light to the area and making a tremendous difference in the lives of residents,” notes Jackson EMC President & CEO Randall Pugh. “Rural families went from cooking, heating water and irons with wood stoves to using electric appliances that made their life easier and safer. Farmers found electricity increased their output and quality, functioning like an unpaid hired hand. The service we take for granted today has been instrumental in shaping our region over the years, and we’d like to celebrate that contribution on our 75th anniversary.”
The cooperative is seeking any memorabilia associated with Jackson EMC, from documents to photographs, promotional items to stories about the difference electricity has made over the years. Jackson EMC will archive donated items with the University of Georgia’s Russell Library, or will return items if requested. Those who would like to share information or items may contact Bonnie Jones at email@example.com or 706-367-6114.
“For several years before we were chartered, in an act of sheer faith, local residents put down $5 – a pretty significant sum at that time – for membership in an organization that did not yet exist, for a service many did not know how to use and some had never seen, “ Pugh says. “And 75 years later, we’re still here, doing what our members – who still put down $5 to join the cooperative – count on us to do for them.”