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City Is End Of The Line For Caboose


From The Times Herald .
The caboose is no longer on the loose.
It’s back in Port Huron, where many people believe it belongs.
The Port Huron and Detroit Railroad Historical Society took a big step Saturday in bringing a slice of railroad history back to the city, as they returned a caboose that was used by the company from 1946 to 1984.
The society hopes to put the rail car to work again, as part of a historical center at the company’s old headquarters, off 32nd Street.
“To have a piece of rolling stock back after 20 years is pretty neat,” said Port Huron and Detroit Railroad Historical Society president Bud Gilbert. “We are really lucky to have it.”
The caboose arrived in pieces Friday night, coming from Walled Lake, where it had been part of the Michigan Star Clipper Dinner Train.
Volunteers worked throughout Friday evening and Saturday morning to put the pieces back together.
One of those volunteers was Bruce Sawdon, 79, of Marysville, who worked for the company for 33 years, including 13 at the company’s roundhouse.
“It’s a piece of history,” he said. “It brings back a lot of memories. It hasn’t changed that much.”
Gilbert said Sawdon looked like a “kid in a candy store,” after seeing the caboose again.
Catherine Houghton, 92, of Port Huron also came out to see the caboose. Her family owned the railroad for more than 60 years.
“The railroad was not like other businesses. It was alive. We felt pretty strongly about it and wept tears when the last train went through,” she said. “It was a family thing.”
Houghton also mentioned she was ready to get back to work and help paint the caboose in its original two-tone blue and white.
“She truly loved it,” Gilbert said. “Her family was the railroad.”
Society members couldn’t contain their smiles in looking at the history.
“It’s very rewarding,” said member Ted Frantz, of Wadhams. “This is a big step forward. Most of these are being used for scrap metal. We are glad we are able to save this ‘junk.”