CELEBRATE SLATON’S HERITAGE: HELP SAVE THE ‘LITTLE RED CABOOSE’
SLATON, TEXAS —
“We invite anyone with a heart for history to ‘climb aboard’ and help us renovate Slaton’s precious ‘little red caboose,’” said Jessica Kelly, manager of the Slaton Harvey House Bed & Breakfast and Event Center. “Our caboose is an icon of Slaton’s heritage and our board of directors wants to treat it with respect.”
Because of that commitment, the Slaton Railroad Heritage Association (SRRHA) recently announced an effort to raise at least $1,000 to restore the weather battered wooden caboose that graces the front lawn at Slaton’s Harvey House.
“The SRRHA received a $1,000 grant from the National Railway Historical Society in April,” said Kelly. “Our directors look to match and exceed that grant to complete an exterior and, eventually, interior restoration of this classic caboose.”
The former Fort Worth and Denver Railroad caboose, which dates back to the early twentieth century, is one of the last standing and documented wooden cabooses in the country, according to Kelly.
“We hope to generate widespread support for this effort,” said Kelly. “The role of the railroad in West Texas’ history is unparalleled. Many of the families that began our towns worked for the railroad… and most of the farmers who worked the fields of the Great Plains depended on the railroad to deliver their supplies and transport their crops.”
The volunteer directors of the SRRHA, the governing board of Slaton’s Harvey House, hope to raise the $1,000 required in matching funds by May 30, 2016
“We’re told that William H. Watson of Lubbock used the caboose as his traveling office for some time, latching it to the train to travel from town to town, conducting business within its walls,” said Kelly. “The rail crew car was donated to the Slaton Harvey House by Mr. Watson together with his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Rand McPherson of Ransom Canyon, where the caboose stood until moved.”
To donate to the restoration of the historic and rare red caboose, please call or email the Slaton Harvey House: 806-828-5900, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Slaton Harvey House, a landmark Santa Fe Railroad facility built in 1912, was part of a chain of eating rooms created by Fred Harvey in 1876. The kitchen staff and hostesses — known as Harvey Girls — provided fine dining to passengers and townspeople alike for more than 30 years.
The two-story Mission Revival structure features concrete walls a foot thick and a parapet decorated with Santa Fe Railway symbols.
Today, the Slaton Harvey House has been restored to its former status as host to travelers, providing bed and breakfast service and an archive of Slaton’s railroad heritage artifacts. The beautiful building also serves as an intimate event center for meetings, conferences, and receptions.
Slaton Harvey House, Bottom of Form
400 Railroad Avenue, Slaton, Texas; 806-828-5900; SlatonHarveyHouse@gmail.com