G&U Caboose Houses   

    The two oldest cabooses are located on private properties in Hopedale. Once lived in
    by their 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
    at 212 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            

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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."

    Shortly after adding the 1939 clipping, I received the 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 underneath).

    Skip Hachey

    Email sent March 31, 2013.

    Hi Dan

    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
    decommission 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.

    Skip Hachey

Photos of the work taken in March 2013.

    Skip sent the picture above on April 30, 2013,with the outline
    of the caboose showing after siding and shingles had been

    On August 31, Skip invited me back to take a look at how the
    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.

    In the two photos above, you can see the original wooden siding of
    the 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.

    The caboose was made by the Laconia Car Company.
    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.

    The caboose house at 7 Overdale Parkway is now, 2014, for sale. Click
    here to see info and photos on a real estate site.

    Below - A few of the pictures from the real estate site.

    In 2017, the caboose house at 212 South Main Street
    was razed and a new house was built on the site.