When she bought a 1909 Soo Line caboose in 1975, Marcia Webber never thought she’d end up living in it full time, but she’s now happy to call this collector’s piece home.
Marcia and her husband bought the old caboose from the Turnerville Station, in Whippany, New Jersey, after responding to an ad in the Wall Street Journal that said “wooden cabooses for sale”. At first, the couple used it as a vacation home, but after a going through a divorce and losing her job, Marcia had to move into the caboose permanently. Electricity had been installed a few years back, but with no indoor plumbing and heating, going through the first winter was a pretty rough experience.
In the following years Marcia Webber made some modification to ensure life in her new caboose home would be a lot easier. She added a bathroom at the back, to maintain the original look of the 1909 transport vehicle, indoor plumbing and electric heating. She also had a deck built for added space, put in some gardens and a lawn and equipped it with all the necessary appliances like washing machine, refrigerator and stove.
Marcia calls her caboose house a “36-year labor of love” and even though she made serious modifications, she is proud almost everything on the inside is still in its original 1909 state. The caboose and the 30-foot train track it sits on cost $6,000 in 1976, and Marcia sold 95% of her belongings to turn into a comfortable home, but she says that only made her feel free. Now she can just sit down and admire the beautiful country surrounding her 337-square-foot home in Northeast Pennsylvania. She admits she thought moving from a 2,500 square-foot home into a tiny caboose would be difficult, but the only real difference is the latter takes just 15 minutes to clean.