What is a caboose?
A caboose was required on every freight train until the 1980s. It was coupled to the end of the train, providing shelter for the crew and providing a location for crew members to watch for problems in train movement like loads shifting and overheated axles. It housed railroad equipment such as spare coupler parts, jacks and rerailing devices, oil, a first-aid kit, lanterns, and fuses. Many even had beds and served as the "rolling motel" for the crew.
It served as the office for the conductor who had much paperwork to do. In the early days, a caboose was even assigned to a conductor and went with him on all trips.
Why should our museum have a caboose?
Trains have always been popular with the public. How many of us have waved to the engineer in the engine or the conductor in the caboose when it passed by? Today's youth have never seen a caboose.
Preserving a caboose, especially one that ran on the track adjacent to the Museum property, would be an invaluable addition.
We're betting that you, an adult, have never been in a caboose! Certainly our children have not. The caboose will be open for public access during museum hours.
Also, at the annual 4th-grader school tours held each spring, a museum volunteer will explain the purpose of the cabooses as the volunteer also displays the depot, explaining the purpose of the various items - including letting each student operate the telegraph!