Caboose Project

We Did It! The planned refurbishments to the exterior of the recently added C & O Caboose have been completed and the inside cleaned out. The Caboose will be open to the public in spring 2021 following a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, May 31 – Memorial Day – at 3:00 pm

Chessie Caboose adopted by the New Buffalo Railroad Museum

Acquiring a Caboose has long been a goal of the Museum. Visit our refurbished authentic bright yellow C&O Caboose alongside an authentic Pullman 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. All on view as visitors enter New Buffalo on Harbor Country Drive.

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!

The Back Story

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 and New Buffalo Alumni, Steve Frazier (now deceased) 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

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.