Swan’s Island Electric Co-op filed for articles of incorporation on March 14th 1949 and became an organized co-operative.


The first meeting of the electric co-op was held at Phillip J. Whitehill’s house in the town of Swan’s Island at 10 am on April 21st 1949. The by laws were adopted at this first meeting and were presented as follows –


“It shall be the aim of Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative Inc. to make electricity available to its members at the lowest cost consistent with sound economy and good management”


At the second meeting of the electric co-op on May 19th 1949, P.J. Whitehill was appointed manager.


The fourth meeting was held on August 18th 1949. Robert Sheldon, an engineer from L.E. Wooten & Co. of Raleigh N.C. explained the proposed layout of the lines.


The fifth meeting on September 15th 1949, it was decided that a bulldozer would be used to clear the roadway in preparation for the electrical lines.


At the sixth meeting on October 3rd 1949 it was decided to use hard drawn bare copper of the appropriate size as the conductor to be used on the lines.


At a meeting on October 18th 1949 bids were open for the construction of the distribution system.


On January 12th 1950, Fairbanks Morse and Co. Bid $ 56,796.00 for a generating plant consisting of two engines powering two 100 KW 720 R.P.M diesel generating units (2400 Volts), a storage tank, a switch board and all materials and labor. In addition, one caterpillar engine powering a 150 KW generator.


A crew came from the mainland to set poles and run wires/transformers. Several people wired houses on the island. There was initially 19 miles of primary lines.


On November 5th 1950, the lines were energized and 75 members were connected.


Fuel was brought on to the island 10,000 gallons at a time by Texaco, McLoon, Gulf and Saucony. The generating plant used 2700 gallons of fuel oil and 6 gallons of lube oil for an average consumption of 3.75 gallons of fuel oil/hour. The cost of fuel plus lube oil used was 0.42c per hour. The plant registered 4440 KWH sold for the month of November 1950.


The first annual meeting for members of the Swans Island Electric Cooperative was held at 4pm on 11th December 1950, at Odd Fellows Hall. Total membership at that time was 163.

Below are two interesting articles from the co-op's past.  

Stonington's Island Advantages Newspaper

November 9, 1950

Announcing "The Lights are On at Swan's Island"

Power Lines Article

October 31, 1997

Story and photographs with general information about the Swan's Island Electric Cooperative