On Jaunary 18, 2015, three juveniles sneaked into the antique Missouri-Pacific caboose at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum and ignited a fire that severely damaged the all-wood interior of the train car.

On Saturday, November 4, State Representative Hugh Shine, Temple Mayor Danny Dunn, City Council member Judy Morales, and representatives of the NAACP will come together with Temple citizens to help save the caboose, and they could use our help.

Photo courtesy of Steven Ramirez

The Save the Caboose campaign begins Saturday at 11 AM on the grounds of the museum at 315 West Avenue B in Downtown Temple.

The idea is to sell personalized, engraved walkway bricks surrounding the caboose, which will be converted into a fully ADA compliant reading and party room. Bricks will be available for $50-$100 depending on the size, and there will be a $500 business partner category. All proceeds will go to fund the restoration and conversion process.

Jonathan Logue with Temple Parks & Recreation the renovated caboose will serve as a place for local children to read and study on weekdays, as well as a rental option for indoor and outdoor parties. Logue said volunteers and museum staff have been working to restore the exterior and interior of the caboose, so funds will help them complete that work as well the erection of a deck area around the caboose and a ramp to make the caboose universally accessible.

Temple Museum Foundation President Glenda McDorman sees the campaign as a way to bring the people of Temple together to restore and preserve an important part of our shared history.

“This project is so exciting," she said. "It brings together many groups from our community working together for a common cause.”

For more information about the event and the museum, call (254) 298-5172 or visit templerrhm.org.