In the late 19th century, a group of philanthropists were seeking a location for an institution constructed to specifically treat people suffering from "consumption," a bygone term for tuberculosis. In the days before vaccinations and antibiotics, cold, dry air was believed to have a therapeutic effect for sufferers of TB. The town of White Haven offered such a climate, in addition to other geographical benefits. The rapid growth of the Sanatorium quickly outstripped the 400 kilowatt capacity of the White Haven Light, Heat & Power Company, mandating the construction of a dedicated coal-to-steam power plant to supply the growing medical complex with electricity.
In 1938, wealthy industrialist Pierre Dupont donated $125,000 to the center in gratitude for the care given to his tuberculosis-afflicted personal secretary. These funds were used to further expand the power plant. Prior to its renovation, the plant had encompassed only what are today the bar and the lounge; Dupont's gift provided for what are now the dining room and state-of-the-art kitchen. The variations in brickwork between the older and newer walls clearly illustrate the fact that this structure evolved in stages, a fascinating historic characteristic we have taken great care to preserve.
In 1976 the building would be left abandon after the new White Haven Center was built on the opposing side of Interstate-80. Fast forward to 1986, John & Jimmy Scalleat noticed the vacant and abandoned power plant while commuting from their restaurant in Lake Harmony to their other restaurant the Ovalon in Hazleton, PA and a vision was born! The property was then purchased by the brothers and underwent two years of renovations opening in June of 1989. It was no easy task but they were steadfast on bringing life back to a building that used to provide so much to the community.
There are hardly words to express the gratitude we feel for the support we have received over the past three decades. We could never have predicted that such a strong community would be built within these walls. The complete renovation of what once was, became so much more than what we set out for it to be. Our loyal customers have become family, supporting us throughout the years, celebrating milestones at our tables, and allowing us to become a part of their lives and memories.
To celebrate our 30th anniversary we will be undergoing a complete remodel and we will be closing our doors for the first time in 30 years on April 1st and reopening on April 9th.
We thank you for your understanding during this expedited renovation process and would like to invite you to our sister restaurant, The Ovalon Bar & Grill to sample some Scalleat Hospitality classics!
For well over 6 months, we have been hard at work planning another full renovation of our beloved Powerhouse Eatery. Our doors will reopen and welcome you back to the environment we have all come to know and love, with exciting new fixtures and furnishings. Our relentless attention to detail and fierce commitment to quality have inspired a renovation that will allow us to continue to do what we do, while always pushing forward to do and be better.
All of our favorite historical features will remain, as the history of the power plant is a huge part of why and how we are where we are today. The list of people to thank as we move forward with our upcoming renovations is vast, and the team on deck is working day and night preparing for this adventure. Each aspect of what will be to come has been sourced in the United States, paying homage to the American work ethic that built our building and is still alive and strong today. We take great pride that all of the tables, chairs, booths, woodwork, stainless steel fabrication, and kitchen equipment have all been manufactured and assembled in the United States and much of it here in Pennsylvania.