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Heritage Museum

Catlin Power Plant

Catlin Power Plant

Next to the last house east of the north end of Merrill Street was the old Catlin power plant. For many years, this power plant furnished electricity for homes in the village of Catlin.

It was built in the early 1900s. There were two large boilers that kept the generator in operation. Coal was the fuel for the boilers and it was shipped in a railroad car and unloaded by hand. For several years, electricity was turned on in the homes at 5:00 p.m. There was no daytime electricity. In those days people didn't have electric appliances. They just had electric lights and these were not available to any homes outside the village limits. The steam boilers had a large steam whistle that was blown in case of a fire in town. In the early 1920's, the electric system was leased to a Champaign company that furnished electricity over the village wiring system. The power plant was then shut down. These poles and wiring were still owned by the village, but the equipment was sold in the early 1930's, which relieved the village from maintenance. The old steam whistle, which was a loud one, was sold to the coal company operating the strip mine north of Catlin.

On the map

Southeast section of 1915 village map showing Merrill Street.

southeast portion of village

Catlin Historical Society
210 North Paris
Catlin, Illinois 61817