Co-op Spotlight: Adams Rural Electric Cooperative

Serpent Mound
Serpent Mound is a popular tourist attraction in Adams County.

Largely serving Adams County, but spilling over the borders to four surrounding counties, Adams Rural Electric Cooperative serves over 7,500 members in southern Ohio. The majority of Adams REC’s consumer-members are residential, but they also serve commercial businesses like Hanson Aggregates Eagle Quarry, one of the largest producers of sand, rock, and gravel; and Murphin Ridge Inn, a popular bed-and-breakfast in Amish country. With 1,300 miles of distribution lines, Adams REC’s territory stretches across an area that is rich in history and nature.

Serpent Mound and surrounding nature

In northern Adams County lies Serpent Mound, an internationally known effigy mound in the shape of a snake with a curled tail. Though its age is debated, the National Historic Landmark was built by ancient American Indian cultures centuries ago. Adams REC is home to the Edge of Appalachia Preserve, one of the most biodiverse natural areas in the Midwest. The system contains 11 unique preserves, including Ohio Brush Creek and Lynx Prairie. With 20,000 acres to explore, visitors can see rugged woodland, waterfalls, and more than 100 rare plant and animal species.

Historical highlights

Adams REC is proud to have hired the first woman cooperative general manager in the state of Ohio. The late Linda Gill was hired as a part-time clerk in 1983. She was promoted to accounting manager in 1985 and became general manager in 1993. She retired in 2003.

Other items of historical significance in Adams County include the John T. Wilson Homestead, which once operated as a stop on the Underground Railroad for slaves escaping to freedom. It was also a recruitment and training spot for Civil War soldiers. Today, the site has been restored, a bed-and-breakfast has been added, and it’s been declared a National Historical Landmark. It also hosts Adams County Heritage Days every September.

This piece of history might sound like something out of an old western movie, but it’s true: In 1853, Bentonville residents formed the Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society as a vigilante group to recover stolen horses and prosecute thieves. Today, the organization operates as a social club, and anyone across the U.S. can join this group with a one-time fee of $1.