John Kline Generating Plant - Introduction
This structure, originally known as Witte Electric Building, was built in 1987 to house the Witte 12 hp Dieselectric engine and generator. The generator produces 8 kw of 120/240 volt, 60 hertz, AC power. The concrete engine foundation was poured in 1986 and the building was constructed around the engine and generator unit.
Paul Harvey met John Kline in 1970, just after Paul returned home from school and set up a medical practice in Brookville, Pennsylvania. John was the foreman of the Diesel Shop of the Pittsburgh and Shawmut Railroad and their main facility was located in Brookville. Big John, as he was called, loved all sorts of diesel engines. Paul and John quickly became friends and John visited Paul's engine collection in Coolspring many times. He thought it should be more exposed to the public and suggested forming a club to promote a show.
A few years later, the Coolspring Hit & Miss Engine Society was formed with John as president. We had great times back then with two small shows a year and plenty of fellowship. Club enthusiasm eventually decreased. However, John's enthusiasm remained strong. A change was needed so, in 1985, the Coolspring Power Museum was formed. John was an early board member of the museum and continued to support the museum for many years.
John's favorite engine was perhaps the Witte Dieselectric in the Witte Electric Building. In those days, the food stand was located where the gift shop is now, and the Witte provided all the electricity to operate it. As the food court was moved across the road, the Witte location became forgotten. Sadly, Big John passed away before seeing his beloved engine run again.
In 2015, the Witte Building received a complete facelift with new siding and paint. The engine runs beautifully and generates electricity as before. Finally, a new name and sign have been added: "John Kline Generating Plant." We think that he would be happy!
|The John Kline Generating Plant was originally known as the Witte Electric Building.|
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