G&U Caboose Houses
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
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
George E Draper wasn't related to the corporation Drapers. Click
here for George and more of the "other Drapers."
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
here to see info and photos on a real estate site.
In 2017, the caboose house at 212 South Main Street
was razed and a new house was built on the site.