N&W Caboose - Sperryville VA
N 38° 38.362 W 078° 14.848
17S E 739572 N 4280352
Quick Description: A caboose from Luray, VA. has reached the end of the line in Sperryville, VA.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 3/3/2012 10:20:55 AM
Waymark Code: WMDWR8
An old caboose is parked in the woods near a small pond on Woodward Ln. in Sperryville, Virginia. It is very similar to another Central of Georgia Cupola Caboose X74 that serves as a fishing cabin on a private farm. That caboose is listed by the Southern Railway Historical Association in the Preserved Equipment Directory
as being built in 1938. The caboose is also listed in the Virginia Catalog of Captive Caboose Locations
- Sperryville VA CofG X74 Fishing Cabin, Farm, 1 mile north of Emporium, Rt 211 & Rt 522, Cliff Miller, owner
According to an entry in a Southern Railway forum, the caboose once was displayed at the Sperryville Emporium before being moved to the farm.
At first, it was thought that this was the same caboose, but upon further scrutiny of the photos of the Emporium caboose and the one in the woods, there were subtle differences in the exterior facade and it is located south, not north, of the Emporium. Was it possible there were two caboose/fishing cabins in the small town of Sperryville? Indeed there is. Local inquiries revealed that the caboose on Woodward Ln. was moved from Luray circa the early 1960s on a lowboy by Ned and Elisabeth Johnson*, according to their daughter. One of Ned's first jobs was on the railroad and he had a soft spot for trains. The move from Luray to Sperryville on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains was not without difficulties and apparently the truck with its caboose cargo tore out some power lines. The original plan was to restore the caboose/cabin, but it was never completed. For years, a Boy Scout troop from northern Virginia annually camped out at 'Caboose Pond'.
Today, the old caboose sits on concrete piers and has fallen into disrepair. The grounds are overgrown, but it is still an unusual sight to see a train car in the middle of the woods. The posted coordinates are to the actual location of the caboose, but it can also be viewed from the road by visitors less inclined to fight the greenbrier and other undergrowth. There is also an open well on the property.
Please note that while it appears very similar to the other CofG caboose in Sperryville, expert opinion says it is probably a Norfolk & Western caboose. Unfortunately, time has obliterated any other identifying markings.
*Elisabeth and C. E. (Ned) Johnson wrote a book on the history of Rappahannock County in 1981.