In the sleepy and quaint town of Vermilion, Ohio, along the shores of Lake Erie, where boats are docked and buoyed along the water’s edge and early 20th century Victorian architecture still abounds, there will be a homecoming. Nickel Plate Caboose #1155 is coming home! However, she needs your help to make it back.

The Friends of Harbour Town, Inc. (FOHT), have proudly announced that they have acquired the #1155 caboose. They recognize that it is a great asset reflecting Vermilion’s heritage and that by displaying it, current and future generations will be able to reflect on that heritage.

The caboose will be located next to the Nickel Plate Railroad Depot, where it once passed every day on the St. Rt. 60 crossing. The depot is also undergoing a dedicated restoration. Diane L. Bailey Chesnut, of FOHT describes the planned site named The Greater Vermilion Area Heritage Center.

“We will be looking forward to presenting Vermilion’s heritage to our school children upon their spring field trips within their hometown and to experience the joy of sitting in a big red 1909 caboose. We will be offering the children the railroads’ Operation Lifesaver Program.

“We will be making reading material available on the big red caboose and 1882 Nickel Plate Depot. We will also be welcoming visitors, rail fans, and have programs/events on site,” Chestnut said.

She also stressed the importance for visitors of being able to actually feel and touch the caboose, instead of merely looking at a picture of it.

Funds of $10,000 are being raised to build a display track, move the caboose and begin repairs, both inside and out.

“We were recently informed that the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village in association with the Smithsonian Institution in Avella, Pennsylvania, has development plans and we need to fund raise to have the caboose moved off of the historic site by the end of August 2014 to our Vermilion, Ohio location,” Chestnut said, stressing that FOHT is in desperate need of donations to make all of this happen.

All donations are tax deductible as FOHT is a 501(c) (3). Checks can be made out and sent to: The Friends of Harbour Town, Inc., P. O. Box 274, Vermilion, Ohio 44089. (Please denote “FOHT caboose project” on the memo line.)

For more information, visit For additional information, please contact Don Glass at (440) 541-8916.