A Look Back at 50 Years of Carolina Country - Carolina Country

A Look Back at 50 Years of Carolina Country

We’ve come a long way since our 1969 ‘Fruit Cocktail Pie’ recipe

A Look Back at 50 Years of Carolina Country

For those of you keeping track, 2019 marks the 51st volume of Carolina Country, meaning we’ve enjoyed five decades of being welcomed into the homes and businesses of electric co-op members across North Carolina. Although we got our start as Carolina Farmer way back in June 1946, it was in 1969 that our publication debuted a new name, and a renewed dedication to covering the people and places that make us all proud to call Carolina country home.

1969: From Carolina Farmer to Carolina Country

The magazine of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives takes on a new name. The first issue proclaims: “Carolina Country — it’s the heart of North Carolina; it’s where the Tar Heel spirit is purest and where the Tar Heel pulse is strongest, and where North Carolina has its greatest potential and will know its greatest strength.”

It also features a free pattern for a ladies’ “Evening Cape” and a simple recipe for “Fruit Cocktail Pie.”

Fruit Cocktail Pie

Fill no-bake pie shell with 1 can drained fruit cocktail, 1 can condensed milk, ¼ cup lemon juice. Cover with whipped topping and refrigerate.


1976: Bicentennial special issue

A Bicentennial Special Issue includes articles on New Bern and its place in Revolutionary history, 200 years of fashion, and what farm families did for fun in our nation’s infancy (log-rollin’, stump-pullin’ and barn raisin’, to name a few).


1979: Lightbulb annniversary and birth of NCEMC

100 years of light

The year marks the 100th anniversary of Thomas Edison’s invention of the electric lightbulb (first manufactured and marketed in 1880): “an event symbolic of the inventiveness of man, the promise of research and the importance of energy.”

Birth of NCEMC

A group of NC electric co-ops commit to purchase power from North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, which “establishes N.C. EMC as the state’s generation and transmission cooperative.” NCEMC has since grown to be one of the largest generation and transmission cooperatives in the nation.


1989: A recipe from Mother & a new logo is launched

Debut of a brand icon

A new logo is launched: “Electric cooperatives across North Carolina and across the country are moving quietly to establish a new standard symbol representing all elements of rural electrification.”


1994: Puzzle master & electric vehicles intro

Puzzling addition

Puzzle master Charles Joyner, who many readers knew from “Joyner’s Corner,” first stumps readers with a word scramble. Charles retired from puzzling in January 2017. Try one of his first puzzles: Unscramble “SWING NO HAT” into the name of an NC town.

ANSWER: Washington

Electric roadsters

The June cover story introduces readers to electric vehicles, one powered by solar panels covering the hood and trunk.


1995: See North Carolina

A special travel issue debuts, which becomes an annual resource (now published each April as “Carolina Country Adventures”). The 1995 version includes nearly six pages of phone numbers for places and events of interest.


1996: A new website

The magazine launches carolinacountry.com. A how-to in the February issue walks readers through the arduous process of cleaning a VCR. (“Step 10: Clean the video head cylinder.”)


1999: Amazing spice appliance

An electronic spice rack deemed the “world’s most advanced precision spice appliance” is featured in a round-up of electronic kitchen gadgets. Perhaps it was just ahead of its time …


2009: Abraham Lincoln's birthplace called into question

Did 2009 mark the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, or was he really born years earlier in North Carolina? An article by editor Michael E.C. Gery notes “While Carolina Country did not start this ball rolling  …  we certainly have kept it rolling along, mainly because it seems like good sport.” An earlier 2003 article on the subject remains a top hit on carolinacountry.com.


2019: Your Carolina Country

Today, Carolina Country reaches more than 2 million readers across North Carolina. We’re holding true to the original intent to champion the state’s electric cooperatives and their members, reaching readers through our print magazine, on carolinacountry.com, through social media and email. Thanks for joining us on the journey.


Comments (2)

  • I have been served by several power companies over the years. Union Power Cooperative is BY FAR the best there is!! Whenever power goes out, the repairs are done super fast. Tree trimming is constantly done which keeps the lines from being compromised during storms. And if I have to call the office, everyone is so courteous and helpful. I have loved Carolina Country and share it with many friends that are (unfortunately) served by larger power companies. The recipes, helpful and informing articles and NC events are wonderful. May there be another 50 years of this great magazine!!

    Debbi Smith | January 08, 2019 | reply

  • I have enjoyed this magazine for many years and look forward to every issue! I love the recipes and stories from the people and it brings back so many memories!!! I've had recipes and stories in the magazine and my family and friends save them for their children!! Our magazine is a treasure and diary for everyone who reads it!!!!

    Ruth | January 09, 2019 | reply

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