It will be a bittersweet day for train lovers in Waunakee on Tuesday as the old caboose that so many have seen over the years at Reese Park will leave for a new home in Plymouth. Thanks to those who understood the historic value of this piece of train history dating back to 1920 when President Harding was in the White House, it will not be discarded, but instead will become part of the Plymouth Historical Society within a couple years following restoration efforts.
The caboose had been in disrepair due to age and vandalism, and with slim financial resources in Waunakee to restore it, and then keep it safe, a decision earlier this year was made to sell the caboose.
As posted here this summer, Brian Allen, a train lover from Waunakee, was instrumental in assisting with insuring a new home was located for the much loved old caboose. Allen started “Operation Caboose Rescue”, and the rest is history. Waunakee Community Services Director Sue McDade was impressed with the response to the ‘underground railroad’ network which resulted in Plymouth becoming the new home for the much loved caboose.
“It was amazing, the railroad underground just started buzzing,” she said. “I got calls from all over the United States.”
The key to selecting a recipient was finding a place that would restore it and take care of it.
“We were hoping we could just find somebody that would love our caboose,” McDade said.
A number of proposals came in, she said, and the village chose Plymouth because they showed they were best suited to take and restore the caboose.
The Plymouth Historical Society will pay the village $1,000 for the caboose and will be responsible for all transportation costs.