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Ozaukee Co. Historical Society to hold fundraiser train show on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022 | By Mary Ann Velnetske

Ozaukee Co., WI – On Saturday, September 10, 2022, the Ozaukee County Historical Society (OCHS) will be hosting a fundraiser Train Show at Ozaukee County Pioneer Village 4880 Hwy I, Saukville, WI, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The OCHS 1940 Milwaukee Road rib-side caboose is one of only nine that are still in existence.

historicalThe Milwaukee Road built 315 rib-side cabooses between 1939 and 1951. In 1940 there were only 25 cabooses built with stock numbers 01875-01899. OCHS owns number 01887.

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Cabooses of this era are getting quite rare, and OCHS is dedicated to preserving this one.

In 1995, several OCHS Board members were determined to acquire a Milwaukee Road caboose to compliment the Milwaukee Road Cedarburg Train Station that it had acquired 12 years prior. Several cabooses were considered, but the one that was decided upon was at Volkmann Railroad Builders, Inc. in Menomonee Falls, WI. The cost of the caboose was $3,500.00 and the cost to move it to Ozaukee County Pioneer Village was $1,800.00.

Track would need to be installed in front of the train station and required the ground to be graded, filled, and a pad of gravel laid down before installing the track and caboose on the site.

OCHS received a generous grant from Bob and Eileen Williams, as well as a sizable matching grant from Ameritech to fund the purchase, move and install the caboose at its new location. Bob Williams, a board member at the time, considered this a grand opportunity.

The caboose was loaded on a flat railcar using a crane and was transported to Fredonia, near Saukville. In 1996, the caboose was primed and painted, but there were no additional funds to restore the interior.

In 2022, the Ozaukee County Historical Society launched a fundraising campaign to restore the caboose back to its 1940 appearance. Working with the Milwaukee Road Historical Association, the Ozaukee County Historical Society has received the original paint chip to match the color of the caboose as well as a grant. Grants have also been received from the National Railway Historical Society and the Antiquarian Society of Wisconsin.

Exterior work will need to be done as well as completely rebuilding the inside. A coal stove, kerosene lamp, and benches will need to be acquired. The budget is $40,000.00.

A fundraising rummage sale was held in spring and a fundraising Train Show is being held Saturday, September 10, 2022, at Ozaukee County Pioneer Village.

The Train Show includes model train layouts by the Kettle Moraine Ballast Scorchers, display by the Metro Model Railroad Club, skits by the Plymouth Arts Center, bluegrass music by Pickin’ Up Speed, a Chicken Roast and auction. More information can be found by clicking HERE.

Photos courtesy Robb Helfs


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