#ThrowbackThursday – Albemarle Telephone Company
In September 1897, Rufus Crowell contacted the commissioners of Cabarrus County about the possibility of running a telephone line from Concord to Albemarle.
The Albemarle Telephone Company was formed in October of that year in order to complete the work. The original owners were Rufus Crowell, J.M. Morrow, J.W. Cannon and John Efird.
The phone company switchboard was originally on the corner of Second and Main. It was on the second floor of the building that is now occupied by the Brown, Brown and Brown law firm.
In 1898 the phone company advertised in the Stanly Enterprise for subscribers. It cost $2 per month for businesses and $1.50 per month for homes. When the phone company began they had an operator on staff until 10 each night and for two hours on Sunday. In 1911 the board of directors added a full-time Sunday operator and a night operator as well.
In June 1911 the company began running lines along all the main streets in Albemarle and updated the switchboard. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, by the end of the year the company was one of the most up-to-date in the state.
In 1931 the company was to be merged with the Southeast Public Service Company (another resource listed the potential partner as Central West Public Service Company), but this never took place.
In November 1934 the Concord Telephone Company announced it had purchased most of the Albemarle Telephone Company stock from the individual shareholders.
The companies were officially merged in 1955.
Lewis Bramlett is a Stanly County historian.