Countdown is on at Pierce PepinThe countdown has begun at Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services to their biggest year ever.
By: Jason Schulte, Pierce County Herald
The countdown has begun at Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services to their biggest year ever.
Next month, the energy cooperative service based in Ellsworth will celebrate its 75th year of existence and has planned a series of year-long activities to mark the occasion.
The business will be asking the public to donate artifacts relating to its history (first recognized as a cooperative in 1937) or any other electrical items from that era to be on display in its showroom through the year.
“It’s an opportunity for our older members to remember what life was like back then, while for our young ones, to show how much it has changed,” said Larry Dokkestul, President/CEO of Pierce Pepin.
Dokkestul said they will start accepting items immediately, with the contact person being Lori Larson, the company’s communications specialist.
Another highlight the company eagerly anticipates is from Jay Nesseth, who works for Pierce Pepin and will present a one-man play about the Rural Electrifcation Act (REA), a component of FDR’s New Deal, which helped launched Pierce Pepin.
“It’s informational and very educational,” Dokkestul said. “It provides a depiction of the challenges and hurdles seen in bringing electricity to rural members.”
The 20-minute play will be performed during the annual meeting on March 24, 2012, at Ellsworth High School and the open house at Pierce Pepin June 9, 2012. The open house is scheduled from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and includes a meal, kids’ games and other items as well.
Larson said Pierce Pepin also began work on a book and DVD of its history to be available on sale to the public at the annual meeting. She also said to check their website, www.piercepepin.com, or check their newsletter for additional information in commemorating 75 years.
Yesterday and today
The Pierce-Pepin Electric Cooperative was formed on April 2, 1937. In September that year, thanks to a REA loan, construction began on 318 miles of line that would serve 932 farms. In June 1938, the southern part of Pierce County was energized; the northern section was energized the following month.
Today, Pierce Pepin serves over 6,550 electric members throughout most of Pierce County and portions of Pepin, St. Croix and Buffalo counties. Their service area is divided into the following nine districts.
1. District 1: Pepin County; Town of Maxville in Buffalo County.
2. District 2: Towns of Hartland, Maiden Rock and Isabelle in Pierce County.
3. District 3: Towns of Diamond Bluff and Trenton in Pierce County.
4. District 4: Towns of El Paso, Spring Lake, Union, Salem and Rock Elm in Pierce County.
5. District 5: Town of Ellsworth in Pierce County.
6. District 6: Town of Trimbelle in Pierce County.
7. District 7: Towns of Martell and Gilman in Pierce County; Towns of Eau Galle, Pleasant Valley, Rush River, Kinnickinnic and Troy in St. Croix County.
8. District 8: Town of River Falls in Pierce County.
9. District 9: Towns of Clifton and Oak Grove in Pierce County.