Caboose Restoration Project

** UPDATE **

The Caboose is Here!

We will begin refurbishment ASAP — the first steps will be:

  • Paint exterior
  • Clean out interior
  • Build connecting passageway from the Pullman World War II Troop Car
  • Install electricity
  • Formal Ribbon-Cutting to commemorate the opening of the interior of the caboose to the public!

Help Restore this Caboose!

Volunteer! And, although we have raised sufficient funds to move the caboose and begin restoration, your donation will help see this ambitious project through to completion. For information on how you can help, contact us at (269) 469-8010 or via email at

WE DID IT! Over 50 Individuals and Business Have Matched The Pokagon Fund’s Caboose Project Challenge Raising a Total of $11,000 for the New Buffalo Railroad Museum!

To support a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the New Buffalo Railroad Museum, The Pokagon Fund Board of Directors granted a conditional $5,000 grant to support the costs of relocation and refurbishment of the Caboose as a permanent display at the Museum’s site. The Museum has met that match … and more!

Chessie Caboose adopted by the New Buffalo Railroad Museum

CSX Transportation, an early supporter of the New Buffalo Railroad Museum when it opened its doors in the 1980s and since, informed the New Buffalo Railroad Museum of the donation of the CO 904126 Caboose in an “as is” condition subject to the Museum’s relocation from Holland, Michigan to the Museum site. The Museum Board gives special thanks to CSX’s Robert Rohauer for making this happen.

Individuals and Businesses who have risen to the challenge include a special thanks to the Wilens Family for providing a major lead gift. On behalf of family, Peter Wilens stated: “We’re glad it was helpful. It was meant as a token of our appreciation for New Buffalo and its wonderful people.” Former residents of the area, Mr. Chuck Wilens was a past New Buffalo Area Schools Board Member while Mrs. Norma Wilens was a social worker in Michigan City, Indiana. The Wilens’ “boys” (Michael, Peter, Timothy and Curt) were fond friends and schoolmates of many.

The Museum also extends a special thanks to Nora Duffy for providing a major gift. Nora, a successful realtor in the New Buffalo area, has been a long-time supporter of the Museum. She stated, “Happy to help. I greatly appreciate all …”

Other generous supporters include: Paul Applegate, Applegate & Company, PC, CPAs; Jule & Phil Barr; Debbie Castriano; Dan Coffey, ReMax of Harbor Country at Union Pier; Bob & Norma Cook; Vaughn & Maureen Culp; Marc & Leslie Danesi, The Stray Dog; Nora Duffy; Ronald L. Farina; Peter & Megene Forker; Chuck & Liz Garasic, Sweethaven Resort; Bart & Missy Goldberg; Mark & Shelley Grach; Janet Hayes; Tom Hemingway & John Nastis,; Guest House and Cottage LLC; Patricia Jordan; Mike & Lindy Keiser; Ted & Sherri Kerhoulas; Michail & Louisa Kerhoulas, Kerhoulas Insurance, Inc.; Katha Kissman; Dave & Tammie Kissman; Al & Nadra Kissman; Brian & Simendea Kissman; LaFDer LLC; Gail Lowrie; Karla Madison; Bruce Marcucci, DDS; Bill McCollum & Diane Psyhos, Collum Architects; Mark & Linda Odegard; Jerry & Maggie Olson, Olson Real Estate, Inc.; Ron & Hollis Oselka; Todd & Lori Robinson; Doug & Jeannie Robinson; Tom Rossman, State Farm Insurance; New Buffalo Savings Bank; Kenneth & Jean Schiffer; Jim & Elizabeth Sima, Ghost Isle Brewery; Mark & Barb Smith; Curt Snodgrass & Ro Lebedow; Daniel W. Springer; Linda Stone, City Flowers & Gifts; The Wilens Family; Ralph Sommerfeld, Sommerfeld Chapel & Thomas Stark, Starks Family Funeral Homes; Vanessa Thun; Arelene Urquhart; Todd & Candy Van Buskirk; and Mario Zarantenello. Thank you one and all.

Acquiring a Caboose has long been a goal of the Museum. Imagine an refurbished authentic bright yellow C&O Caboose alongside an authentic World War II Railroad Troop Car, an authentic Chessie System Box Car, a brightly colored Depot, and the authentic New Buffalo Fire Department 1870 Hand Pumper Unit used to fight the great Chicago Fire of 1871 on view directly from the entry to New Buffalo, the heart of Harbor County on Harbor Country Drive/S. Whittaker Street. Most individuals never have the opportunity to actually go inside a railroad car other than passenger train or mass transit. With the addition of a caboose, our visitors will now be able to go inside three. We anticipate that the addition of a caboose will be a major draw to the Museum and complete the railroad cars component of our displays.

For information on how you can help, contact us…

Phone: (269) 469-8010


Our mailing address is:
New Buffalo Railroad Museum
PO Box 3
New Buffalo, MI 49117

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from the New Buffalo Raiload Museum

You have Successfully Subscribed!