The Community Responds

When the new hydroelectric dams made their way into the mountains of North Carolina the community responded with enthusiasm for the project. Newspaper articles celebrated the openings of the dams while community members were writing editorials in support of the electrification of the mountains. At the same time, homeowners were writing to the company in hopes of receiving electricity in their homes.

Some of these homeowners had to go to great lengths to receive power into their homes, if the company was not already providing service to their area. Individuals who wanted the power lines extended into their homes had to seek out other homeowners within their community that also wanted electricity. These neighbors would then join forces to pay for the costs of the extension. This included obtaining right-of-way from anyone whose land would be crossed with the power line, purchasing the poles, and having the poles set in the ground. The company would not extend the line unless a profit was possible. For this to be achieved many customers in an area had to be interested. If not, the customers had to pay a high coverage cost.

This was an endeavor that many were willing to take. However, it seems to imply that at first only those who could afford these costs could enjoy the extravagancy of electricity. Much of the initial interest was from inn owners and people with summer homes in the mountains.

Newspaper Article "Dam Dedication"
Gov. Broughton Dedicates Glenville Dam
"Our Thanks"
Service Request -Highlands, NC from C.F. Reddin to H.E. Church in Bryson City. Letter from Sapphire, North Carolina sent May 12, 1934.
Service Request -1935 from Bryan Hanks to J.E.S. Thorpe Reply to Sapphire letter from J.E.S.Thorpe sent May 28, 1934.
Right-of-way to Miss Belknap Letter to Hugh Richardson from Thorpe sent April 23, 1935.
Letter to Mrs. Day Letter to Mr. C.Y. Byrd from NP&L sent August 3, 1936.
Inn Owners  

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