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Amelia Islander

Amelia Island Museum of History Acquires Historic Electric Panel

Jan 12, 2015 02:00AM
In October of 1897 an electric panel was installed in the Hoyt House (on Atlantic Avenue). The panel was one of the first boxes on Amelia Island. More than 100 years later, in January of 1993, the panel was disconnected by Jack Watson of Watson Electric. Mr. Watson recognized its historic value and recently donated it to the Amelia Island Museum of History.

Using a manuscript in the Captain George T. Davis Collection, the Amelia Island Museum of History determined that the first electric generating plant in Fernandina was established in 1887. The plant was privately owned and was known as Fernandina Brush Electric Light Company. This company was formed to provide City of Fernandina with electric power for operation of carbon arc street lights. Prior to October 1887, street lamps served by kerosene. The first house incandescent lamps available to Fernandina residents were introduced in 1893. On May 5, 1897, the City of Fernandina purchased the electric power plant from Fernandina Light and Power Company for a total cost of $2700; the plant was located on South 2nd Street near intersection of Beech Street.

The Museum is delighted to now have this electric panel from the Hoyt House. It currently resides in the Research Library. Guests are invited to come visit the Research Library at the Museum on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call the Museum at (904)261-7378.