Tag Archives: caboose restoration

Choo Choo Fest 2014 Highlights and Images

Submitted by Susan Garry:

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Choo Choo Fest is a Coupland Civic Organization (CCO) fundraiser.  The very first Choo Choo Fest was in 2008 and was held outside, in downtown Coupland, and the funds raised went to restoring the Depot.  Then, after skipping a few years, Choo Choo Fest was held again in 2013, this time inside the Old Inn and Dancehall, in partnership with Tim and Barbara Worthy, with the funds raised allowing the CCO to begin restoration of the caboose.

So this 2014 event was the Second Annual Choo Choo Fest.  These two Fests that have been held inside the Inn have kept attendees out of the August sun in air-conditioned comfort.  Also, serving the meal has been much more convenient inside.  Attendees enjoyed the barbecue dinner.  For a minimum $10 donation, the dinner included barbecue chicken, pulled pork, beans, cole slaw, potato salad, bread, and iced tea.

This year’s bake sale featured a huge array of homemade desserts, sold whole or by the serving.  Also at the bake sale booth, Fundraising Co-Chairs Ruby Wabbel and Judy Downing sold the new Choo Choo Fest T-shirts.

The silent auction was so big, it overflowed its space.  During the Fest, people were still bringing in auction items, and some ended up being displayed on the bar.  The auction included original artwork, crafts, collectibles, toys, and more.

On the Dancehall stage, volunteer bands provided live music throughout the event, which raised about $6,800!

The CCO thanks all the directors, their families, and other community members who volunteered.  And a special big “thank you” to Barbara and Tim Worthy whose generous donation of food, the use of their facility and the help of their staff made Choo Choo Fest 2014 possible.

Coupland Civic Organization News & Caboose Update

Submitted by Barbara Piper:

Lots of activity has been occurring in and on the grounds of the Civic Organization’s property. We awarded a contract to Robert Haines Construction for the first big phase of the caboose renovation. The cleanout work was done, and the construction work has been ongoing and is looking great! The weather has played a big part in getting this specific phase completed, first lots of (welcomed) rain and then lots of sub-freezing temperatures. Another coat of paint is to be applied and new plywood doors will be done for the north and sound entrances of the caboose. It was simply amazing to both Jack and me when we discovered that the frame of the original door on the south side was still intact. We discovered this when we were clearing and cleaning the interior before the demolition process. The door can be made sound and copied for the north end as well. The cedar sides (milled in Austin) fit very tight and should be sound for many, many years. We will retain a lot of the wood removed from the interior for later use. The crew worked really intensely to be sure we could preserve some of the good, old wood.


Painter Bryan Sonnet stops for a picture on December 11. He said the first coat of paint was mostly finished. He noted that the prep work was the hardest part. He expects to complete work this week if the weather holds.

Painter Bryan Sonnet stops for a picture on December 11. He said the first coat of paint was mostly finished. He noted that the prep work was the hardest part. He expects to complete work this week if the weather holds.

The civic organization is looking forward to an exciting new year. We will elect two new members to our board in January. You, the public, elect board members, and we encourage any who might be interested in running for the board to contact any current board member, or simply respond to this posting on our website. Since Coupland has incorporated, the CCO really serves much like a chamber of commerce. We always look forward to promoting and sponsoring local events as well as participating in fund raising events that improve our grounds and facilities for the community.

Last but not least, the Board would like to wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. We appreciate your support and look forward to 2014!

Historic Caboose Renovation in Progress


No, that’s not a space alien building a machine to conquer the earth. As you can see in the image below, it’s actually Rosie Haines working with some of the material extracted from the old caboose.

IMG_0739Dustin Haines was working inside the old caboose. This phase of the renovation includes three sides of the old Rock Island Caboose. This was my first glimpse into the caboose. I told Dustin it looked better than I thought it would. He said that it was only because the west wall was gone and that it had been in pretty bad shape.


The Coupland Civic Organization owns the caboose. It is parked outside the Coupland Depot and Museum. Funds raised at the Choo-Choo Fest a few months ago made this possible.


Caboose Restoration Takes Baby Steps


Late this morning, I spoke with Rosie Hanes of Robert Hanes construction. They are replacing the wood on the steps and the platform of the historic caboose, which sits by the Coupland Depot Museum. She expects that the new material will be installed today and painted tomorrow.

This is Phase One of the restoration, which was necessary for reasons of safety since so many people were standing on the caboose for portraits.

If you want to help make the complete restoration happen, plan to attend Choo-choo Fest 2013 on August 11 at the Old Coupland Dancehall & Tavern! Get more information on the Coupland Civic Organization website.