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I followed behind those who had helped in getting the Island’s new electrical system. We had driven up to Flannagan’s at Harkers Point and were headed for the shore where the flow of electricity would come out of the water and flow up the pole, the first pole of the new system.
The electricity began flowing into the system at Lennoxville, just east of Beaufort. There, the jacks had been thrown already on the final mainland pole where the large “submarine” cable came down, ran towards the marshy shore, and disappeared into salty water. The cable had been laid for 1.6 miles across the mouth of North River, coming out of the water at Harker’s Point where we now stood.
It was around five in the afternoon, Friday, 25 August 1939. Low tide had occurred just an hour or two earlier so the shore was deep, exposing the length of new cable as it came mysteriously out of the wet sand. Mr. Earl had been to the Lennoxville and Flannagan sites many times in the previous months as the construction crew was laying the cable. Today, the crew had left, their work completed. Mr. Earl walked up to the pole, took a firm grip on the long piped handle at the bottom of the pole, and threw itupwards, fast...firmly...the thrust raising the jacked fuses at the pole’s top into place.
A few sparks flew. The crack of jumping electricity was heard as the fuses neared their resting slots and the first sparks jumped across the rapidly narrowing gap. The electrical current went surging over the marshes at Brook’s Creek...down the Island road...all the way to the last pole across from Walter Yeomans home near Shell Point...and into the first 65 meters that had been installed in homes and stores up and down the Island road.
The lights had come on all over the Island for the first time!
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Mr. Earl spoke the words on 25 June 1978 at the dedicatory services for the Island’s new Wachovia Bank. He had donated the land to the Bank.
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CRANEY
Impressions