the little red caboose

Twenty or more years ago,  they happily lived in the Tongass National Forest, on the South East Alaskan Penninsula, on the Island of Prince of Wales , in the temperate rainforests of remote South Thorne.

Even though there is no history or hint of a railway, she always dreamed of living in a Red Caboose in their island rainforest kingdom, just the two of them.

She was not feeling well and a trip to the doctor confirmed that she was, indeed,  very ill. He wanted to make her dream of a home in a little red caboose come true. He located a red caboose in Canada and it was soon on its way, barged from British Columbia to the City of Thorne Bay on a Boyer’s Barge.

Prince of Wales never had any railroads, but it does have its own Red Caboose in the Forest – (Photo Credits L. Sylvia)

At the Boyers freight yard, the red caboose was loaded onto a trailer hitched to a caterpillar like heavy equipment and slowly hauled the then 15 miles of single-lane, dirt and gravel logging road to its home above and behind Setter Lake in South Thorne. What a strange procession that must have been!

They lived in their red caboose for only a couple of years. I was told it was gaily festooned with baskets of hanging flowers and was cozy and homey inside with a little table with two chairs, a corner bookshelf with a Fannie Farmer Cookbook among others, a wood cooking stove, a room for a bathroom, and a small room in the back with a bed.

Then the day came when she was carried out. He left with her and never returned. Their little red caboose stands in the clearing still, a testimonial to the strength of the love that brought it to their remote Island Kingdom.

The rainforest is slowly reclaiming the little red caboose as it silently waits for their return.

2 thoughts on “the little red caboose

  1. What an awesome story, Where is it located? I go to POW to fish and hunt every year and I love the simplicity of life there. It will be a very sad day when I cannot return to that Forest Kingdom.


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