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Carroll Electric Membership Corporation records

Identifier: LH-0037

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains issues of CEMCO, a newsletter published by the Carroll Electric Membership Corporation with the majority of the issues from the 1980s and 1990s. Additional items include trinkets, cookbooks, interview transcripts with cassettes, etc. and an assortment of Carroll EMC bills.


  • Majority of material found within Bulk, 1980-2000s
  • 1971-2006


Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights held by the Carroll Electric Membership Corporation.

Biographical / Historical

Carroll EMC’s origins trace back to 1935 when the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This New Deal agency was created to bring the same comforts to rural Americans — such as electric lights to extend the day and electric motors to ease the daily workload — that city residents had been enjoying for nearly three decades.

The rural desire for electricity was passionate, however, the means elusive. Vast distances between homes and farms made extending electricity to rural areas costly, prompting city-based electric utilities to deem them unprofitable.

The REA helped to bring electricity to rural America through electric cooperatives – private partnerships owned and controlled by the people they serve. By the end of 1936 nearly 100 electric cooperatives in 26 states had been formed. The Carroll Rural Electric Association (later changed to Carroll EMC) was among them. A young Carrollton attorney, Robert D. Tisinger, led the local march to bring light to the western Georgia countryside. He visited with local farmers and rural leaders to drum up interest. When an organizational meeting was held in August 1936, it attracted 400 to 500 people interested in forming and joining the proposed electric cooperative.

With a $118,000 loan from the REA, construction commenced in March to erect the first 117 miles of a rural electric system to serve rural Carroll and Heard counties. The new cooperative flipped the switch to energize the first section of lines on July 31, serving 334 members.

The Corporation encountered challenges prompted by World War II and disastrous weather conditions in 1960. In spite of this, the demand for electricity was increasing by the mid-1950s. In 1982, Carroll EMC, with over 2,700 miles of line, was serving 21,000 homes, businesses, and other local structures. Among the first lines run were one south to Tyus and Roosterville in Heard County, one to Hickory Level, and one north on Bremen Road to Bowdon Junction. The Roopville area was already being served by the Georgia Power Company.

From these humble beginnings, Carroll EMC grew into a state-of-the-art electric utility serving some 52,000 accounts in seven counties with more than 5,491 miles of power lines connecting them all together. The cooperative’s membership base has changed dramatically from primarily farmers to an ever-increasing number of urban, suburban, and commercial accounts. While retaining its rural farm heritage, Carroll EMC now serves many of the new residential subdivisions and commercial areas outside of metro Atlanta.


1.64 Linear feet (2 boxes, 1 Map Folder)




This collection contains CEMCO Views, a newsletter produced by the Carroll Electric Membership Corporation and other documents and artifacts.

Arrangement note

Documents arranged alphabetically by file title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Newsletters were gathered and donated by Myron House on October 27, 1982, with a further donation of newsletters made by House prior to 2007. Jay Gill donated artifacts, documents, oral histories, and other materials on January 20, 2022.

Related Archival Materials note

Carroll Rural Electrification Association records, LH-0001

Processing Information note

Processed by Sarah Warren in October 2008, Candice Larson in 2016, and William Drumm in 2022.

Guide to the Carroll Electric Membership Corporation Records LH-0037
Sarah Warren (2008) with additions made by Candice Larson (2016) and William Drumm (February 2022).
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States