Caboose

BEAVERTON – Growing up, Sandra Vining’s son Scott loved the railroads. In fact, he had radios and could talk to the engineers. Some would even look for him when they passed by near the family’s home. So when she got a call from the railroad telling her there was a caboose for sale, it made sense to Vining to surprise her son with his own caboose from the Grand Trunk line. The caboose was hauled to the Vinings’ home in Edenville by Dobson in Bay City, and by the time it got there, it had attracted quite a following. “It was like the Pied Piper,” Vining said. “People aren’t used to seeing a caboose going down the road.” But people are intrigued, and now that the caboose has been moved to the Nestle Inn, where Vining operates The Lavender Tea Room, she and Innkeeper Luann O’Dell hope that those same railroad enthusiasts might some stay a night or more in the caboose, which sleeps four or more. The caboose made its way to Nestle Inn on March 5 and 6, hauled in by Delisle Lawncare and Excavating, who first cleared the area and laid the stone. “It was cold – frightfully cold,” Vining said, of that day. Sandra, Luann and an Amish friend worked to scrub up the caboose and get it nice and tidy without compromising the integrity of the structure. The original fixtures are there, along with the writing on the walls denoting its last run and other hallmark moments. People who choose to stay in the caboose will be treated to breakfast – they can have it delivered or they can eat at the patio. The caboose sleeps four people, and there’s a BBQ and a fire pit right there, and a place that someone can sleep outside if they so choose. The caboose is very heavy and well-sealed. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Luann and Sandra are hoping that the novelty of the caboose will attract enthusiasts and people who are just curious. “It’s fun to know history,” Sandra said. “It’s fun to say, ‘I slept in a caboose!’” In addition to a Bed and Breakfast with a sleeping caboose and outside accommodations, the Nestle Inn also hosts The Lavender Tea Room, with Afternoon and High Tea gatherings for any occasion. On site is also The Crippled Chicken Thrift Shop, which has a little bit of everything. In fact, there will be a Market Place Flea Market July 4-6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – furniture, collectibles, housewares, tools, jewelry, Amish baked goods, books, goat milk creams, craft and sewing items, fabric and more! For more information on Nestle Inn, located at 3655 Spicer Road in Beaverton, please call Sandra at 989-689-4933 or Luann at 989-435-8905.

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