G&U Caboose Houses
original owners and now built inside two homes, they are no longer recognizable from the outside
of either building. One of the cabooses was purchased by Edwin Aldrich (probably prior to 1907)
while he was employed by the G&U. The wheels and undercarriage were removed, the “buggy” was
brought to Aldrich property on South Main Street in Hopedale and then modified to become a small
comfortable home for the family. It was recalled as still being their home when their 50th wedding
anniversary was celebrated in 1929. Later, it was moved to a new location nearby and today,
although it cannot be seen from outdoors, it is part of the home owned and lived in by Rita Wilde at
212 South Main Street in Hopedale, and later by the William Brown family. It has been covered
completely on the outside, as it has become part of a larger house. The inside of the caboose and
a couple of the cupola windows are still visible inside the house.
The second caboose was purchased by Sam Yanco in 1939 when he was employed by the
railroad. It was an extra-long caboose, being in the 35-foot class. Yanco sold it to Ellsworth Naylor
in 1943 or 1944 and it was moved on a long lowbed trailer owned by M. Palanzi to its present
location at 7 Overdale Parkway in Hopedale. This “buggy” is not visible from the street side
because it has been widened and a new outside wall with a picture window has been installed on
it. The lower windows on the back side along with the cupola windows are very visible. Inside the
home, the original roof is still very evident. It serves as the ceiling for the entranceway, the dining
room, kitchen and bathroom areas. The lower windows along one side and all the cupola windows
are visible inside the house. Window hardware, the door on one end and some of its hardware
along with some of the wood inside the dining room area are original. The manufacturers original
brass metal plate marked “LACONIA CAR WORKS, BUILDER, LACONIA, N.H.,” is still attached to
the caboose. Gordon Hopper, 1995.
When I put a question about the caboose house on Overdale Parkway in one of my Hopedale
history emails in 2009, I received a reply from Dave Atkinson.. You'll see that it differs a bit from
what Hopper wrote. The Hopper version indicates that it wasn't moved to Overdale until it was sold to
the Naylors, but the Yancos' grandson remembers his grandparents living there. Here's what I wrote
in Hopedale history email No. 145.
As to the question about the caboose house of Overdale Parkway, Dave Atkinson knew a bit about it,
since it had been the home of his aunt and uncle. He passed the question on to a relative and I
received the following: “During the depression, Sam Yanco worked for the G & U Railroad along
with Fred Philpot (who was Fannie's Uncle). Sam, his wife Fannie, and daughter Carlia bought a
caboose from the G & U Railroad and Fred and Sam pulled it home using a Desoto and placed it
up on land that Fannie and Sam owned on Saltbox Hill. Sam set it on a rock foundation, hand-dug a
water well, and hand-dug a cesspool. Sam, Fannie and Carlia lived in it. Fannie was the daughter to
Howell Nealley of Hopedale. This information provided by Paul Moroney, Grandson of Sam and
Fannie, and son to Carlia.”
Ellen Alves also responded to the question. She remembered the people who lived at 7 Overdale
after the Yancos - Axel and Elsie Naylor.
According to the street listing books, Sam and Fanny Yanco resided at 29 Hopedale Street in 1938
and 1939. In 1940 they were recorded as living on Overdale Parkway. Before moving to Hopedale in
1938, they had lived in Mendon.
See the Gordon Hopper Milford Daily News article below, for more on the South Main Street house.
Former G&U caboose - now ice cream shop
G&U Menu HOME
Caboose house - 7 Overdale Parkway
A couple of minor mistakes. That should be Overdale
Parkway, not Overlook Parkway. Also, I'd say it should be
"light housekeeping," not "lighthouse keeping."
George E Draper wasn't related to the corporation Drapers.
Click here for George and more of the "other Drapers."
following about the Overdale Parkway house.
Dan, this is great. Thank you so much. We are planning
on adding an addition to the house and are doing
everything we can to save the basic features of the
caboose (the cupola, the porch and the wheels
Just to let you know that we are starting renovation on our caboose house. We are trying to keep all of
the caboose features of the structure: cupola, back porch, interior (although we will redo the kitchen at
a later date) and the trucks in the crawl space on which the wheels were attached. We are adding 4
rooms plus a farmer’s porch on the Overdale side and a 3 season porch plus open deck on the
opposite side. We just brought back some antique stained glass windows that we bought in
Pennsylvania and which will be placed on the Overdale side. We can’t put in the full basement that
we want under the addition as the excavator hit water pretty quickly. But, importantly, we will de
commission the shallow well and cesspool and replace them with an artesian well and a septic
system. So lots of changes but we hope to maintain the caboose as best we can.
Photos of the work taken in March 2013.
Skip sent the picture above on April 30,with the outline of the
caboose showing after siding and shingles had been removed.
project was going. While there is still much to be done, in the
pictures below you'll see that he and Margee are keeping the
caboose very much a part of the renovated house.
caboose. This view shows the outside of the caboose, but it's inside the
house, so you won't see it if you drive by for a look. The pictures below show
the caboose cupola, inside and out. The outside view is on the east side.
You won't see it from Overdale Parkway.
This nameplate is on an inside wall at the end. Skip and
Margee saw one just like it, along with much else of
interest related to the LCC, when they went to Laconia to
look into the history of their house.
Hopedale Village Cemetery
The photo above was taken of 212 South Main Street on December 28, 2016. This was
the site as mentioned in the Gordon Hopper article on this page as having a caboose
house. As mentioned in the article, additions and renovations had left the caboose inside
the house, and from the outside you couldn't tell that it was there. Nevertheless, I wish I'd
taken a picture of the house before it was torn down.
to see info and photos on a real estate site.