REA project brought electricity to rural America

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E-mail from Cheryl

Facts from the past gleaned from the Moses Lake Herald, Columbia Basin Herald and The Neppel Record by Cheryl (Driggs) Elkins:

From the Moses Lake Herald on Aug. 29, 1941:

Dennis note: Some of this info has reached my desk before, but this is the first time Iíve see something about the REA in our area. REA stands for Rural Electrification Act.

It seems electricity was available in the cities and in many homes in the cities by the 1920s. The government finely realized it was time to reach out to the rural areas of the country. The REA was the solution.

This info is a brief version of the project. Crews of electricians and REA personnel erected power poles and ran power lines to the houses and barns of the farms and ranches. Research has shown the REA provided a kitchen circuit and lighting circuits, with a light fixture in each room, at least one outlet per room and a circuit for the range (stove).

I havenít been able to confirm this, but I remember Paul Harvey saying something such as, the best thing to happen to the farm wife was electricity. Think about how a farm wifeís everyday work was eased when electricity arrived.

The washing machine didnít need to be hand-cranked. Eventually farm homes had electric stoves and refrigerators. Life became easier for the farm wife.

The REA began running power poles in the Lind area in 1941. Read on.

REA project begins at Lind

Following months of work and negotiations, work was started last week on the Lind extension of the Big Bend Electric Co-operative REA line when a crew of seven men begun digging holes for the poles along the right of way which extends from Ralston to Beatrice. Roy Blair, Spokane, has the contract for building the line which will cost 29,600 and construction will be in charge of H.P. Thompson of Spokane, superintendent for the contractor. The job is to be completed within two months.

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