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Step back to rural times at Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm
Visitors can experience life before electricity
Jackson Electric Membership Corp. workers installed electric lines to provide farmers with an unpaid hired hand.

Most people today cannot remember a time when they couldn’t flip a switch on the wall for light.

On Saturday, Jackson Electric Membership Corporation in cooperation with the Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm will take the public back in time to experience a world without electricity.

“Before There Was Light,” a re-enactment of life on rural Georgia farms before cooperatives were formed to provide electricity, will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm, off U.S. 129 Bypass on Ethridge Road outside Jefferson.

The free activity includes a tour of the heritage farm, where re-enactors will recreate life on a 1939 farm. Artisans will demonstrate of handicrafts, and food vendors will sell barbecue and ice cream.

Jackson EMC linemen in period clothes will give attendees an up-close look at constructing the first electricity lines by hand.

Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm is an historically-preserved farm that serves as an educational and interpretative outdoor museum. Covering 152 acres, the farm features historic buildings, including multiple barns, seed house, cotton gin, gristmill, blacksmith and carpenter’s shop, water tower, milk barn, tractor shed and tenant house — all original to the farm.

Limited handicapped parking is available across the street from the farm; all other visitors should park at Galilee Christian Church, 2191 Galilee Church Road and ride a shuttle bus to the site.

For directions and information, visit

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