submitted by Gweneth Collins
If you’ve been on the lawn at the Washington County Historical Society in Chipley lately, you’ve probably noticed what a sad condition our historic railroad caboose is in. The caboose, which was originally yellow, was acquired over thirty years ago and, other than a paint job, has had little attention. Paint is peeling and faded, several windows are broken, and rust is beginning to set in.
After a good “going-over” by the historical society members, it was decided it’s time to do something or we will be in danger of losing our caboose to the ravages of time. And so the “Save Our Caboose” campaign has begun!
As it sits, the exterior of our caboose needs re-painting with stenciling, rust removed, the roof needs reconditioning, and the broken windows need to be repaired. In addition to a major clean-up, the interior also has needs: Seat reconditioning, floor refinishing and repairs, repainting, replace cushions, and several pipes need to be replaced.
Museum Director Dorothy Odom remarked, “Our caboose is a wonderful historic asset for our community, especially with the possibilities of renewed passenger train service to our area. The caboose balcony has been used for countless photo shoots over the years – engagements, family photos, and scores of prom pictures. Restoration would allow us to open the doors, so to speak, for tours – not many folks have actually been inside a caboose. It’s not just an open room. It has a sleeping area, seating, heating, first aid and kitchen area, even a restroom! It would be a shame to let it deteriorate any further.”
If you would like to make a contribution to the “Save Our Caboose” Fund, please contact Dorothy at 638-0358, or send your contribution to Washington County Historical Society, P.O. Box 757, Chipley, FL and designate “Save Our Caboose Fund.” All donations to this fund will be used towards saving our caboose.