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Library of Congress accepts WEC’s ‘Voices of Our Elders’ documentary

March 15, 2017

HARTFORD, Alabama — The Library of Congress recently accepted into its archives a 2008 documentary produced by Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC).

The documentary, “Voices of Our Elders,” features six WEC members and local residents born before the arrival of electricity to the area. The residents, Mary Hatcher, Harry Peterman, Leroy Hughes, Hunter Ketchum, Edward Joiner and Archie Effinger, recalled the days of hauling water from an outdoor well, the stench of kerosene lamps, cooking on wood stoves and their reactions when electricity finally came to their homes. Today, only Hatcher is alive. She is 85 and lives in Hartford.

“We recognized that the number of our members who had knowledge of those days was quickly dwindling,” said Brad Kimbro, chief operating officer for WEC. “We wanted to preserve their memories for future generations. Now, the Library of Congress will take the video to a national audience.”

Kimbro said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby and his staff were instrumental in obtaining the recognition.

The Library of Congress is the research library officially serving the U.S. Congress. It is the de facto national library of the United States and the oldest federal cultural institution in the U.S. The Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. It also maintains the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, which houses the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center where “Voices of Our Elders” will be displayed.

The video can be viewed below and is also available for viewing by all co-op members, schools, churches and community groups.