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AREA, Alabama Living to celebrate anniversaries

The Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA), which publishes Alabama Living, officially turns 70 later this year, and the magazine itself will turn 70 in early 2018.

We started looking back through the magazine’s archives to learn more about our early years. But we’ve realized that some of our readers may hold some valuable information, about both the magazine and our association.

AREA’s first publication was called the Alabama Rural Electric News, and was published as a broadsheet newspaper beginning in January 1948.

In September 1967, the publication became AREA Magazine, and in January 1968 debuted in a standard magazine format.

A little more than 20 years later, the magazine became Alabama Living, in part to distinguish it from the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), which was an agency of the U.S. Agriculture Department but was long associated with rural electrification. Alabama Living officially debuted in May 1989.

Then, as now, the magazine is published each month as an information and educational service to members of rural electric cooperatives in Alabama.

Do you have any early copies of the Alabama Rural Electric News? We may feature you in an upcoming issue!

We’re also interested in stories about AREA’s beginnings, when it was located on Lee Street in downtown Montgomery. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who was a member of the first AREA board, or you have some correspondence from the cooperative leaders who were instrumental in AREA’s formation and early years.

To let us know about the beginnings of either the magazine or the association, send an email to Allison Griffin at, or send her a note at P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124.