The Hood River County Sun, Hood River, OR., January 4, 1940, page 1


     Believe it or not, but the Hood River valley was the birthplace of rural electrification in the United States, according to a report made by Everett Davis, extension specialist in agricultural engineering at Oregon State College.
     Davis found that the first strictly rural electric distribution line in the United States was built in 1906 and was two miles long, connecting five Hood River valley farms.
     Today Oregon is still a leader in rural electrification with more than 53 percent of all farms in the state electrified. Three years ago only 32 percent of the farms were served by electricity. Latest figures show upwards of 7000 miles of rural line serving more than 33,000 rural customers in this state.
     The Rural Electrification administration has assisted substantially in extending the rural service within the last year or so, says Davis. Four projects are either under construction or have been recently completed, to serve about 1300 farmers. Extending lines in populous farming districts is fairly simple, but in sparsely settled regions like the Eastern Oregon wheat country, distribution lines are so costly as to be prohibitive under present conditions in many localities.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer