Lights

The first lights were homemade candles, a wick or rag in fat, or kerosene oil lamps and lanterns.  But some were a little afraid of the lamps because some of the earliest kerosene contained more of gasoline than of that sold later.

The earliest mention of street lighting is October 14, 1887.  "John Syverson and Company's 216 candle power lamps illuminate Burrell Avenue like an electric light," and November 26, 1897 "The new street lamps have arrived and have been set up at different places around town.€  Otto Marquardt remembered when some person went around, climbed up to the streetlight and lighted each one individually every evening.

The earliest mention of acetylene lighting says on November 19, 1897: "Cooper has acetylene gas in his office and wears a pleasant smile because he is now through filling lamp."

November 29, 1897: "The county commissioners bought acetylene gas plant to light the court house and jail - cost $285.€  They liked it so well that in 1899 they bought a big generator for the courthouse, and then had two small ones for sale.

Business places put in acetylene at about 1899 as Emil Marquardt and Reier Anderson both put them in September 1899.

September 20, 1895, "Emil Marquardt sports an electric light in front of his place of business," the first mentioned electric light in Cooperstown.

It was not until 1905 that the Platt Electric Company brought electricity to Cooperstown (direct current).  He established his own plant.  In 1905 he put up a building of cement blocks.  This building still stands as apartments across the street east of the grade school.  Mr. Piatt later rebuilt west of the railroad track squarely across Burrell Avenue.  This building later was remodeled into a turkey dressing plant used by the Kimball Bros. and was torn down in the 1970's.

The courthouse put in electric lighting in 1908 with arc lights in the courtroom.  These were replaced in 1915 by "improved incandescent lights."

Mr. Platt sold his holdings to C.S. Christianson in 1915.

In 1926 the change was made to alternating current.

Otter Tail Power Company based in Fergus Falls, Minnesota has served the town since the early 1940's.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 194

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