Indian Hill - Electricity Comes to the Hill

By late 1985, it was obvious that electricity was needed to run the telescope because it was very user-unfriendly pushing the tube to follow celestial objects. At that time, our local electric supplier suggested it would cost at least $2,000 to put in the poles and lines. (As of 2001, another inquiry produced a ridiculous $13,000 quote).

In 1986, one of our members, Ed Winslow, hauled a huge diesel generator back from Elmira, New York in his van. We couldn't get it started so we sold it 6 months later. Of course, the buyer got it started the next day. Still without a solution and being cheap,we decided to do the work on our own. The plan was to bury 750 foot of cable from Keith's house to the observatory. We hired a local farmer, John Adams, to dig the trench. Work began in the summer of 1987, while the inside wiring was completed several months later.

Bye-bye. The diesel generator is hauled away to the new owner in October 1986. Burying electric cable was the next best and cheap alternative.

John Adams digs the trench for the electric cable while landowner Keith Richards directs him where to dig.

After the cable is laid in the field, Gus Saikaly, foreground, and Dan Rothstein cover it up.

The cable is laid up to the observatory building.

Unspooling the last of the cable.

After the cable is laid, Rick Trembour and others ran the electric throughout the observatory over several weekend worksessions.

"First Light". Brick Bates and Rick Trembour are all aglow with the first test of our electric power.

A couple of years later we ran an electric line from the observatory to the shed. Don Himes and Bruce Nielsen dig the trench by hand, while Don's wife, Kim, videotapes the activity.

Special Photos:
October 30, 2003 Aurora