Coolspring Power Museum: The Early Days

A look back at the beginnings of the Coolspring Power Museum as it approaches its 30th year.

| June/July 2015

  • Paul Harvey and John Wilcox
    Paul Harvey (left) and John Wilcox getting ready to unload the 1902 Model 4 Klein in 1967. In many ways, the present-day museum starts here.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • Placing the Model 4 Klein
    Setting the Model 4 Klein in place on the pad for The Engine House, now called the Founder’s Building.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • 1906 IHC 6 HP Victor
    The 1906 IHC 6HP Victor installed in The Engine House. It’s not moved from there since.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • 1902 Model 4 Klein
    A view of the 1902 Model 4 Klein and the IHC Victor in The Engine House.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • The Engine House filled
    The Engine House filled, with 2-stroke circa-1898 vertical Klein at front.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • Painting the starting air tank
    Paul Harvey’s father painting the starting air tank for The Engine House; it’s still used.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • The Engine House
    The Engine House as it looked when completed in 1973.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • 1965 International C1200 pickup
    Paul Harvey’s first truck, the 1965 International C1200 four-wheel-drive pickup.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • Moving the 15 HP Novo
    Moving the 15 HP Novo with the 1946 REO.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • 1956 International S180 tandem
    The 1956 International S180 tandem loaded with Paul’s 1925 American LaFrance.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • The Big Barn
    Built in 1971, the Big Barn would later become The Power Technology Building.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • The Big Barn
    The Big Barn 1974 with the big Turner Fricke out front, waiting for The Power House to be built.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • Ready to pour the Machine Works building floor
    Ready to pour the Machine Works building floor in 1974.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • McKee Station 1976
    McKee Station in 1976.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey
  • McKee Station today
    McKee Station today.
    Photo courtesy Paul Harvey

  • Paul Harvey and John Wilcox
  • Placing the Model 4 Klein
  • 1906 IHC 6 HP Victor
  • 1902 Model 4 Klein
  • The Engine House filled
  • Painting the starting air tank
  • The Engine House
  • 1965 International C1200 pickup
  • Moving the 15 HP Novo
  • 1956 International S180 tandem
  • The Big Barn
  • The Big Barn
  • Ready to pour the Machine Works building floor
  • McKee Station 1976
  • McKee Station today

This June marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of Coolspring Power Museum (CPM), and features our biggest show ever. During those 30 years, the museum has enjoyed steady growth; and its appearance has slowly changed.

Many engines, displays and buildings have been added; and new property has been acquired. CPM now proudly displays over 20 buildings containing about 250 engines, all spread across 40 acres in a quiet, rural valley. We will have a grand event this June!

While helping with the planning of our big event, my mind wandered back to the early days, to where it all began. It was so long ago, I had almost forgotten how it appeared then, so I searched in some old photo albums and will share what I found. That was a good time and life was easy, planning one or two structures for my personal collection. Little did I know what was going to happen!

I had been collecting small engines for about 10 years when I met John Wilcox, in the summer of 1967 at the Rough & Tumble show in Kinzers, Pennsylvania.



We became friends and I explained to him that my dad and I were planning to build a 12-foot by 20-foot engine house for some of my collection. He mentioned that he had an extra, small Model 4 Klein that would make a great addition. The deal was struck, and he volunteered to deliver it – all for $50. Dad and I already had the concrete floor poured, so the engine could be easily unloaded onto it. Wow!

Photo 1 shows John Wilcox and me standing on the bed of his faithful 1952 L140 International Harvester truck, shortly after he arrived. The Klein looked great and I was excited. It was soon unloaded, as seen in Photo 2, moved a bit, and is still there today.



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