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Setting poles the old-fashioned way


Jackson Energy Cooperative’s contractor crew faced a dilemma. Danny Bingham, who works for Davis H. Elliot, needed his crew to  replace three electric poles on Sparks Ridge in Jackson County. The problem was the location; it was so hilly, rocky, and filled with trees that a truck could not get to the poles.

The answer came in the form of a Jackson Energy member—Sammy Banks. He owned two horses and a cart. The horses—Maude and Mandy—drug the new poles in using the cart. Banks then hooked the horses to a block and tackle to set the poles where Elliot line tech had already dug the holes. The line techs moved the electric line, and power was restored.

“In the early days, we often used horses to bring poles in,” says Jackson Energy Operations Supervisor Tim Wilson, “and even with the changes in technology, it was more cost effective to use the horses when compared to price of bringing in a bulldozer and clearing a path. Our cooperative still serves some remote areas that aren’t easy to reach.”

In the pictures above, Sammy Banks uses his horses and cart to set poles on Sparks Ridge in Jackson County. A picture from the Jackson Energy archives shows a farmer in the 1940s using his horses to help set a pole.