Doris Lynch was born in 1924 in the Lotla Community of Macon County.
Her earliest memory of rural electrification was having lights
in her home around 1928 or 1929. Her family was one of only three
families in the community to have electricity. "Families who lived
between these three families were bypassed because they did not
have the money for their own poles and the extension of the lines
and the money was just not there for most families." The power
source for her community was generated from Lake Emory in Franklin.
During the Great Depression the power
to her house was disconnected because her father could not pay
for it. "After living with electricity for a number of years and
then having it disconnected during the Hoover Years took some
getting used to, but we just went back to the same way of life
as we had lived prior to electricity."
When President Roosevelt established
the WPA her father obtained employment and had the power turned
back on with his first pay check. Once again the family had lights,
used the electric iron and listened to the Grande Ole Opry on
the radio. "Community members would sit on their porch and raise
their windows and listen to our radio." Before electricity Doris
and her siblings gathered around the kitchen table with an oil
lamp to do their homework. However, she states "with electricity
we could use any room in the house." Her father helped solicit
to get power because "it was such an improvement."
Her grandparents provided room and board
for NP&L engineers and linemen to supplement their income.
"However my grandmother died before they ever received electricity
because my grandfather was scared of it." She reveals that when
NP&L was established and built the dam in Nantahala more people
were able to get electricity because the company furnished the
lines and poles. "Electricity did bring about a lot of changes
in the community, but for the betterment of everybody."
© Western Carolina University
NOTICE: WARNING CONCERNING COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS The
digitalized exhibit ìWatts in The Mountains: Rural Electrification in Western
North Carolinaî is the sole property of Western Carolina University. As such,
all materials presented in this exhibit are protected under the current law
of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code) that governs the making of copies
or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Fair use under the law permits
reproduction of single copies for private study or research. Further transmission,
reproduction, or presentation of protected items without the written permission
of the copyright owners is forbidden This institution reserves the right to
refuse any additional copying petitions if, in its judgments, fulfillment
of the request would involve violation of the copyright law.