One of the chores boys could choose was working at the Power House. It involved keeping filled the coal bins that fed the furnace stokers for the boilers. In addition, coal cars were brought in on a railway spur that ran from the main line to the power house. These cars had to be emptied ASAP to avoid extra storage charges. Originally, this was accomplished with shovels and wheel barrows. Later a conveyor and tractor equipped with a loading bucket were purchased.
Unloading coal cars was the only paying job at the home. In the forties we were paid $5 to unload a two hopper and $7 for a three hopper. I cannot recall, but I think a two hopper car carried 50 tons of coal and a three hopper car contained 70 tons. At any rate, those of us who worked at the power house had muscles of spring steel. At least we thought we did, And, we were rich with all of that money.