Stories, quotes and anecdotes from Appalachia, with an emphasis on the Depression era.
The most unique proposition came in 1910. The owner of the Youghiogheny Power and Light company proposed a centuries worth of cheap, renewable energy for Baltimore, MD. Stricken with an incurable disease at the age of 75, Mr H.P. Tasker decided he had a plan that would benefit society. With a ninety-nine year lease, and power offered at $3 per horsepower, all the city had to do was provide the transmission wires. More miraculously, he proposed doing so without building a single dam.
The rates he was proposing were “absurdly low,” and yet even under scrutiny of the city’s engineers, the plan held up. Even with the cost of transmission lines and property purchases for the right of way, the power paid for itself. And yet, like most hydro-electric plans in the Youghiogheny valley, nothing came of it. The same is true of a 1914 proposal that created the Youghiogheny Water and Power Company. A plan would come together, politicians would approve it, and the money would never materialize.Read More »