Little Red Caboose at Lake Wales Museum

September 09, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

This week the road trip was to Lake Wales, Florida to visit the museum and train.  The amount of history in this one building is amazing!  They are soon upgrading so you won't have to read each of the boards as you walk through, but can instead use your phone to scan the exhibit - but for now, plan to read - not sure how soon this new feature will be available - but hopefully this year.

The museum has train related items as well as information on the city of Lake Wales - it is a good escape from the summer heat.  This blog post is featuring the 'red caboose' that sits outside the main museum as trains are always fun to explore.

This caboose is part of the Seaboard Railroad and is a 1926 rail car.  It sits next to the train track that runs on the east side of the museum

Step on up into the caboose for a short tour.

I was the only one there on this afternoon, which is a wonderful thing for a photographer as no one is waiting on you and you can take your time.

As I stood there at the entrance to the caboose, I image what it was like almost a century ago (yes, another 8 years and it's a century old!). Caboose's were first introduced in the 1830's (that's almost a century before this caboose was built).

There are two benches on either side as you walk in (the black cushions on each side).

Just beyond this doorway are two areas (one on each side) that you can climb up and see where the railroad employees most likely sat while the train was underway. Windows on all 3 sides to view what is in front, back and on the side - across the center of the railroad car is another area just like this one, so you can actually see all 4 sides of the train.

The stove is used by the railroad men for cooking as well as to provide heat during the cold months.

The caboose has a primary function to house the train crew during the trip. The train crew included a brakeman and a flagman - both stationed in the caboose. The brakeman would turn the breaks on the train cars when the engineer signaled the train was going to stop.  The flagman would like lanterns and use signal flags so other trains would not run into the caboose.

The museum is contained within the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot in Lake Wales, Florida. It is located at 325 South Scenic Highway. On August 31, 1990, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

If you find yourself looking for something to do, maybe you'll consider stopping in and checking out the museum and the red caboose.


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