Back in the 1997 timeframe, the local Rotary Clubs took on a project to save Crossville’s historic railroad depot. The Rotary clubs, with the city of Crossville’s help made the centerpiece of Crossville’s early years a modern day show place.
Ever since the Crossville Depot was restored and opened to the community there has been interest in putting a caboose on display. Twelve years later, members of Downtown Crossville, Inc. located a caboose in Whitwell, Tennessee. DCI approached the Crossville Noon Rotary Club about getting the caboose for the Depot, the Rotary Club agreed to pay the purchase price of $4,000 and the caboose was purchased in 2009 and brought to Crossville in a joint effort by the City, local Rotary clubs and DCI. When renovation is completed, it will become a museum dedicated to local railroad history.
The caboose is located on the north side of the depot toward Main Street where the railroad tracks were originally located. The caboose was in need of extensive renovation to the interior. Public Works crews and students at the Tennessee Technology Center along with DCI volunteers worked on the restoration which is continuing. Downtown Crossville, Inc. (DCI) also had a special fundraising project for the renovation.
To date, the exterior of the caboose has been repainted and new doors and windows installed. The exterior has a handicap accessible ramp and signage so all can share the caboose’s many features. Plans for the interior include painting, new lighting, flooring and display areas and is scheduled to be completed in 2012. The caboose restoration is now complete and is open to the public. DCI wishes to thank all those who help in the restoration... a job well done !!
Crossville’s Mayor J. H. Graham III has said that “…this is part of Crossville’s past” and added that he would like to see some type of Alvin C. York exhibit explaining the community's ties once the caboose is ready to open.