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Historic Caboose Travels Across The State

South Dakota State Railroad Museum

A 20 ton piece of South Dakota transportation history is rolling across the state. This is the first time it’s moved in almost 45 years.

Caboose number 12-0-8 was built in 1947 by the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad. It then travelled the railways between South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa until it was retired in 1970. Eventually the wooden caboose was purchased by Jeanne Bauder and her late husband Herman. 1208 has sat in their backyard in Huron ever since.

Now Jeanne Bauder has decided to pass on the caboose for future generations to see. 1208 is travelling by truck this weekend to Hill City and the South Dakota State Railroad Museum. Rick Mills is the Museum’s Director. He says the caboose’s mere existence is nothing short of incredible.

“One of the things that I’m taken with and proud of is that the Bauder family, they kept this caboose original as far as the interior.  Not much of anything has been done to it. So when you walk into that caboose, it is gonna be like going back in time to the late 1940s and seeing what railroading was like at that time,” says Mills.

Mills says the caboose will permanently be displayed in the museum. He says the interior will serve as a classroom to teach about the time period in which it operated.