The Andover Historical Society’s caboose was received as a gift from the Wolfeboro Railroad in 1987. Our research revealed the caboose was built in 1923 and had been owned and operated by the Central Vermont Railroad as late as 1967, or perhaps even later.
Although the caboose was intact upon its arrival in Andover, the exterior of the car was in need of significant repairs. Fenton Construction, along with the help of numerous volunteers, worked to put the rail car in good shape.
Despite being of wood construction, the caboose has held up well over the intervening years. Much like a wood frame house, however, repair needs can accumulate over time. In 2018, the caboose was found to have a leaky roof, wood rot, and badly faded paint. To prevent future water damage, temporary repairs were made to the roof at that time. The Society is now ready to address the other needs of the caboose in hopes of returning it to its “spruced up” 1987 condition.
The refurbishment and repair of the caboose got underway on July 8, focusing on the cupola and main roof. (The cupola is the small windowed structure which sits atop the caboose.) Bentwood Construction of Andover was contracted for the project.
The cupola roof covering and wood rot beneath were removed. New wood was added and covered with plywood to form a smooth surface for the new roof membrane which will follow. Once the roof work is complete, Bentwood Construction will replace rotting wood on the sides and ends of the car, and a new coat of paint will be applied to the exterior.
If you have ever wondered how the caboose made its way to Andover without rail access, wonder no more! A 1987 video chronicling the transportation of the caboose to Andover will soon be aired on Andover’s community access cable TV channels, Comcast channel 8 and TDS channel 16.
It is hoped sufficient funds will be available to allow the Central Vermont Logo and rail car information to be added, as it appeared on the caboose in the 1950s. Funding thus far has come from a generous grant from the Massachusetts Bay RailRoad Enthusiasts and other donors.
Contributions for this restoration project may be sent to Andover Historical Society Caboose Fund, PO Box 167, Andover NH 03216.