Caboose getting repaired

By Staff, 12/16/21 9:47 AM

PRESCOTT – In 2019 the old Prescott and Northwestern Railroad Caboose was moved to its current location by the Nevada County Depot and Museum.

However, the move has not been kind to it, as it’s showing signs of deterioration. Judy Duke, museum director, has had the caboose placed on the National Historical Register of historic places, but it’s been outside in the elements since it was moved. At this time, there’s leakage around the cupola, and the exterior boards in the front of the rail car have rotted, causing some damage to the exterior front wall as well. The interior is fine, she said.

Duke contacted the Arkansas Historic Preservation Society (AHPS) to discuss how best to repair the caboose, which is a tricky matter as it’s on the National Historic Register and certain, specific criteria must be met. She was informed, first and foremost, repairs could be made and how it could be done. Basically, the repairs will have to be made with like boards and done by someone who knows how to repair such things.

Duke applied for a grant from the AHPS for $14,000. However, due to heavy demand for grant money, hers was denied. She took to the phone calling previous benefactors for their help. She was fortunate as a private donor agreed to fund repairs up to $15,000. Bids were taken and a contractor hired who has experience in restoring historic structures. Work it to begin soon and will include replacing the damaged boards, repairing the cupola and building a cover for the caboose to protect it from the elements somewhat.

This project, she said, will take about eight weeks, depending on the weather. Once it’s done, a dedication ceremony will be held.