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The countdown is on at Pierce Pepin

ELLSWORTH -- The countdown has begun to Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services' 75th anniversary April 28.

The energy cooperative service based in Ellsworth plans a series of activities to mark the milestone.

The business is asking the public to donate artifacts relating to its history 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," President and CEO Larry Dokkestul said.

People with items are asked to contact Lori Larson, the company's communications specialist.

Also during the year, employee Jay Nesseth will present a one-man play about the Rural Electrifcation Act, a component of Franklin Roosevelt'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 at Ellsworth High School and an open house at Pierce Pepin June 9.

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. The co-op's website,, and newsletters also will feature information in commemorating 75 years.

The Pierce-Pepin Electric Cooperative formed in April, 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. The service area is divided into the following nine districts.

District 1: Pepin County; Town of Maxville in Buffalo County.

District 2: Towns of Hartland, Maiden Rock and Isabelle in Pierce County.

District 3: Towns of Diamond Bluff and Trenton in Pierce County.

District 4: Towns of El Paso, Spring Lake, Union, Salem and Rock Elm in Pierce County.

District 5: Town of Ellsworth in Pierce County.

District 6: Town of Trimbelle in Pierce County.

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.

District 8: Town of River Falls in Pierce County.

District 9: Towns of Clifton and Oak Grove in Pierce County.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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