Before There Was Light

Jackson EMC is ending its yearlong 75th anniversary celebration by re-visiting what drove the formation of the cooperative.

Who: Free of charge to Jackson EMC members and the public

What: Before There Was Light, an all-day event recreating life before electricity

When: Saturday, April 26, 2014

Where: Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm in Jefferson

Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm will host “Before There Was Light” —an all-day event designed to remind members and the community-at-large what life was like before local residents formed the cooperative to bring electricity to their homes and farms.

Free of charge, the event focuses on how rural northeast Georgians lived and worked prior to the arrival of electricity here 75 years ago.

Jackson EMC began its 75th anniversary celebration last June, exactly 75 years after it received its charter, and concludes this month, 75 years from when they powered the first 100 miles of line in April 1939.”

Students stand outside the school on site at the Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm

For a generation who has never experienced life without electricity, the event features re-enactors demonstrating how chores and activities were done without electric power.  The buildings and landscape at Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm make a perfect backdrop for the event.  Demonstrations will include milling, soap making, blacksmithing, quilting, crafting split oak baskets and much more. Interactive activities will invite guests to take part by quilting a stitch or two or helping make soap.

Farm demonstration will be on tap, and visitors will learn what it was like to study by the light of a kerosene lamp.

Another step back in time includes re-enactments done by Jackson EMC line crew employees dressed in period costume to demonstrate how power lines were first put up. Leaving their trucks and tools back at the office, linemen will use shovels, spoons and spades to dig holes and put up power poles by hand. Photos chronicling Jackson EMC’s history will be on display

Come and experience what life was like before electricity, and see just what an undertaking it was to build the electric distribution system we sometimes take for granted today.

Food and crafts will be available for purchase, including homemade ice cream and barbecue and wares produced by the various demonstrators.

Limited handicapped parking is available across the street from the farm; all other visitors should park at Galilee Christian Church, 2191 Galilee Church Road, where you’ll take a shuttle bus to the site.

Visit Jackson EMC for more information.