A happy ending for story of well-traveled caboose | PostIndependent.com

A happy ending for story of well-traveled caboose

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff

The most well traveled house in the valley will be honored this weekend.

Janet Principe will hold an open house in her newly acquired caboose, which put on many miles when it was a working caboose between San Francisco and St. Louis.

After all those miles, the caboose was retired, and eventually found its way to Principe.

One afternoon Principe was sitting in the Pour House in Carbondale with friends when she came across a “caboose for sale” classified ad.

“Wow, we always wanted a caboose,” Principe told her friends.

Principe ended up buying the caboose from Ed Larsch, who used to have it on his property near Aspen Glen.

“It used to be red on one side and green on the other,” she said of caboose, built in 1962.

The caboose was a steal at about $10,000. Principe said she’d looked at similar cabooses on the Internet that were going for as much as $25,000.

Moving the caboose from its home near Aspen Glen to her property up Cattle Creek Road was a pretty big challenge, and involved cranes, semi-trucks, police, and road closures.

“It was gnarly,” said Principe.

The caboose, which Larsch remodeled so he could rent it out, has a bathroom, shower, and full kitchen.

“It’s very cool,” she said.

Principe did even more work on the caboose, but kept its original charm.

She even painted around an old message in the closet that looks to have been scrolled by an old railman.

To help welcome the caboose to its new home, Principe is holding an open house with hot dogs and refreshments for anyone that would like to come.

In the course of buying and moving the caboose, she has come across many people who have stories about the caboose, and she would love to hear any others.

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520


What: Caboose Open House

Where: Starbucks Ranch, corner of County Road 112 and 113 up Cattle Creek Road

When: 12-5 p.m. Saturday

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