1898-1945, 1950
(predominantly 1920-1945)

East Tennessee State University
Archives of Appalachia
P. O. Box 70295
Johnson City, Tennessee 37614

E-mail: archives@etsu.edu
Telephone: (423) 439-4338



East Tennessee Light and Power Company Records

Collection Numbers:

Accession No. 156

Physical Description:

116.5 linear feet (118 boxes and 10 map folders)


East Tennessee Light and Power Company


Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University



Provenance: Ronald E. Brewer, a representative for the Tennessee Valley Authority, donated the East Tennessee Light and Power Company Records to the Archives of Appalachia on June 15, 1983. The Tennessee Valley Authority had acquired the records when it purchased East Tennessee Light and Power Company in 1945.

Access: The Collection is open for research.

Processing Information: Norma Myers and Martha Egan completed processing the collection. In 1991, Scott Schwartz completed processing an addition, and Marie Tedesco completed processing an addition in 1994.


East Tennessee Light and Power Company (ETLPC) was a utility company which operated in East Tennessee and western North Carolina from the late 1920s until its purchase by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1945. ETLPC evolved into a large corporation through its purchase of a number of smaller local and regional utility companies and through its 1941 merger with Tennessee Eastern Electric Company (TEEC). Previous to the 1941 merger ETLPC had acquired the common stock of Tennessee Realty Company, an affiliate of TEEC.

Originally incorporated in Virginia as the Tennessee Central Service Company in March 1927, the company changed its name to East Tennessee Light and Power Company (ETLPC) in October 1929. On June 1, 1929, ETLPC acquired the property and assets of the following companies: Bristol Gas and Electric Company in Virginia; Newland Light and Power Company, and Elk Park Electric Light and Power Company in North Carolina; Watauga Power Company, Bluff City Electric Light and Power Company, Erwin Electric Light and Power Company, Butler Light and Power Company, and Roan's Creek Light and Power Company, in Tennessee. ETLPC operated in the area at the junction of the states of North Carolina (one county), Tennessee (four counties), and Virginia (two counties). The principal cities served include Bristol, Virginia; Bristol, Tennessee; Elizabethton, Tennessee; and Erwin, Tennessee.

The Tennessee Eastern Electric Company (TEEC) was incorporated in June 1912. Soon after incorporation, the company acquired the property and assets of Watauga Electric Company, Greeneville Electric Company, and Jonesborough Electric Company. TEEC provided electricity to the Tennessee counties of Washington, Greene, Unicoi, Carter, and Sullivan. The principal cities included Johnson City, Greeneville, and Jonesborough.

Both ETLPC and TEEC operated as public utilities engaged in the production, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electric energy. While all of TEEC's operating revenue was derived from electric operations, electric energy comprised 92% of ETLPC's gross operating revenue. The remaining eight percent was derived from the purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of gas.

In 1929 ETLPC purchased the common stock of the Massachusetts corporation, Tennessee Eastern Electric Company. In 1939 a plan was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission for the merger of ETLPC with TEEC. The merger was accomplished on March 28, 1941, when TEEC was officially dissolved. East Tennessee Light and Power Company continued operations as a public utility until purchased by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1945.

Incorporated in December 1922, the Tennessee Realty Company substantially operated for the benefit of its affiliate, TEEC. Operations included: buying and selling real estate, principally land and easements; renting property owned by the company; and holding property for its affiliate. The company owned or had options on real estate along the Holston, Watauga, and Nolichucky Rivers in the counties of Sullivan, Washington, Greene and Hawkins. In July 1936, ETLPC purchased from TEEC the entire common stock of its affiliate, Tennessee Realty Company. The parent company, ETLPC, received all revenues from, and paid all operating expenses of, Tennessee Realty Company.


The East Tennessee Light and Power Company records contain correspondence, tax statements, quarterly and annual reports, budgets, account statements, ledgers, job orders, inventories and blueprints. Although the records date from 1898 to 1945, the bulk of the material was generated between 1920 and 1945.

The records consist substantially of the documents required for reports to, and audit by, the external agencies to which the company was accountable: Securities and Exchange Commission; Federal Power Commission; Internal Revenue Service; and the appropriate agencies in the states of North Carolina, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Virginia. The remainder of the records largely concern the generation and transmission of electricity by the company.

Organization: The records contained no organizational charts for the companies, and the arrangement of the records did not appear to reflect the organization of the company. The records are divided into two subgroups: Subgroup A, Financial Records; and Subgroup B, Operating Records. Subgroup A contains six series including Series A-I, Government Tax and Agency Files; Series A-II, Subject Files (primarily budgets, legal contracts, account statements, and audits); Series A-III Marketing Files; Series A-IV, Supporting Files (memoranda, supporting details, work papers, and preliminary reports); Series A-V, Overhead Cost Studies; and Series A-VI, Miscellaneous Bound Volumes (ledgers, budget analysis, and earning statements). Subgroup B, Operating Records, consists of four series: Series B-I, Bound Volumes (operating ledgers, generation reports, inventories, voucher and job order analyses); Series B-II, Job Order Files; Series B-III, Subject Files (blueprints, photo albums, construction estimates, operating logs, inventories, and requisitions); Series B-IV, Photographs and Negatives. Oversized blueprints were removed from the records and placed in the map cabinets, according to accession number. Photographs which were part of reports or in photo albums were left with the records, while other photographs have been place in Series B-V and stored in the photographic storage area.

The original articles of incorporation, board of directors' minutes, and personnel files were not included in this records group. When the Tennessee Valley Authority purchased East Tennessee Light and Power Company, many of the employees were retained by the authority and the personnel files were integrated with TVA personnel files.

Important subjects covered in this collection include:

Appalachian Electric Power Company
Appalachian Region, Southern--Economic conditions
Bluff City Electric Light and Power Company
Bristol Gas and Electric Company
Butler Light and Power Company
Butterworth, R. I.
Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway
Conner, H. C.
Dams--Design and construction
East Tennessee Light and Power Company
Electric power distribution--Tennessee River Valley
Electric power production--Tennessee River Valley
Electric utilities
Elk Park Electric Light and Power Company
Erwin Electric Light and Power Company
Flood control
Hartzell, E. K.
Hawkins County (Tenn.)
Henry L. Doherty & Company
Holston River (Va. and Tenn.)
Housing authorities--Virginia--Bristol
Hydroelectric power plants
Ide, Charles E.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Johnson City Traction Company
Jonesboro Electric Light Company
Newland light and Power Company
Nolichucky River (N.C. and Tenn.)
Nolichucky River Power Plant
North Carolina. Corporation Commission
Roans Creek Electric Light and Power Company
Rural electrification
Rush, R. W.
Southern Railway (U.S.)
Sullivan County (Tenn.)
Tennessee Eastern Electric Company
Tennessee Eastern Power Company
Tennessee. Railroad and Public Utilities Commission
Tennessee Realty Company
Tennessee. State Corporation Commission
Tennessee Valley Authority
United States. Federal Power Commission
United States. Rural Electrification Administration
United States. Securities and Exchange Commission
Virginia. Public Utilites Commission
Watauga Power Company
Watauga River (N.C. and Tenn.)
Watauga Steam Plant
Water resources development--Tennessee River Valley
Wilbur Dam (Tenn.)
Wilbur Hydro Plant


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