The Caboose

NEW BUFFALO — The New Buffalo Railroad Museum has announced that The Pokagon Fund Board of Directors recently granted a conditional $5,000 grant to support the costs of relocation and refurbishment of a CO 904126 Caboose as a permanent display at the Museum’s site, 530 S. Whittaker St.and that Museum supporters have “met that match … and more!”

CSX Transportation, an early supporter of the Railroad Museum since it opened its doors in the 1980s, offered the donation of the caboose in an “as is” condition subject to its relocation from Holland, Mich., to New Buffalo (special recognition was given to CSX’s Robert Rohauer).

According to a New Buffalo Railroad Museum press release, “Individuals and businesses who have risen to the challenge include a special thanks to the Wilens Family for providing a major lead gift. On behalf of family, Peter Wilens stated: ‘We’re glad it was helpful. It was meant as a token of our appreciation for New Buffalo and its wonderful people.’ Former residents of the area, Mr. Chuck Wilens was a past New Buffalo Area Schools Board Member while Mrs.  Norma Wilens was a social worker in Michigan City, Indiana.  The Wilens’ “boys” (Michael, Peter, Timothy and Curt) were fond friends and schoolmates of many.

The Museum also extended a special thanks to local Realtor Nora Duffy for providing a major gift.

“Other generous supporters include: Paul Applegate, Applegate & Company, PC, CPAs; Jule & Phil Barr; Debbie Castriano; Dan Coffey, ReMax of Harbor Country at Union Pier;  Bob & Norma Cook; Vaughn & Maureen Culp; Marc & Leslie  Danesi, The Stray Dog; Nora Duffy; Ronald L. Farina; Peter & Megene Forker; Chuck & Liz Garasic, Sweethaven Resort; Bart & Missy Goldberg; Mark & Shelley Grach; Janet Hayes; Tom Hemingway & John Nastis,; Guest House and Cottage LLC; Patricia Jordan; Mike & Lindy Keiser; Ted & Sherri Kerhoulas; Michail & Louisa Kerhoulas, Kerhoulas Insurance, Inc.; Katha Kissman; Dave & Tammie Kissman; Al & Nadra Kissman; Brian & Simendea Kissman; LaFDer LLC; Gail Lowrie; Karla Madison;  Bruce Marcucci, DDS; Bill McCollum & Diane Psyhos, Collum Architects; Mark & Linda Odegard; Jerry & Maggie Olson, Olson Real Estate, Inc.; Ron & Hollis Oselka; Todd & Lori Robinson; Doug & Jeannie Robinson; Tom Rossman, State Farm Insurance; New Buffalo Savings Bank; Kenneth & Jean Schiffer; Jim & Elizabeth Sima, Ghost Isle Brewery; Mark & Barb Smith; Curt Snodgrass & Ro Lebedow; Daniel W. Springer; Linda Stone, City Flowers & Gifts; The Wilens Family; Ralph Sommerfeld, Sommerfeld Chapel & Thomas Stark, Starks Family Funeral Homes; Vanessa Thun;  Arelene Urquhart; Todd & Candy Van Buskirk; and Mario Zarantenello. Thank you one and all.”

Acquiring a Caboose has long been a goal of the New Buffalo Railroad Museum, which already has an authentic World War II Railroad Troop Car, an authentic Chessie System Box Car, a brightly colored Depot, and the New Buffalo Fire Department 1870 Hand Pumper Unit used to fight the great Chicago Fire of 1871.

For 2019, the Museum is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from early April through Oct. 27. Those wishing to contribute funds for ongoing maintenance of all three railroad cars, go to and click on DONATE), send an email to, or call Katha Kissman at (202) 669-4423.

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