Choo-Choo! Help Restore the Red Caboose!

Choo Choo! Help Restore the Red Caboose!

Holland Museum’s mission is Preserving Our Past, Imagining Our Future.

Built in June 1941, the Red Caboose—located at the Padnos Transportation Center train station in downtown Holland off Lincoln Avenue—is a Holland Museum historic artifact. Named Pere Marquette after the train line that connects Chicago to Holland and beyond, the metal structure was first donated by CSX Transportation to the Museum. Pere Maquette is more than just a historic caboose and train line, however. The name refers to Jaques Marquette, an early settler in Michigan who founded Sault Sainte Marie and Saint Ignace in the mid-1600s.

Now under the care of the Holland Museum, Pere Marquette needs to be restored. The last restoration took place in 1998 by Bob VandeVusse and other volunteers. After 23 years, the caboose’s brilliant red shine has now dulled. In congruence with the Holland Museum’s mission to preserve our past and imagine our future, the Pere Marquette caboose detailed restoration started this month.

Thanks to the generous donation of paint and supplies from Repcolite Paints, alongside donated, and installed pine window frames by Bob Berghorst, we’re off to a great start. However, the cost of restoration is immense, and we need your help.

Restoration Plans for Summer 2021:

-Pressure washing, removal of paint (Complete)

-Prime, paint and seal (Complete)

-Apply Pere Marquette lettering

-Replace two paneled doors

-Replace window frames and polycarbonate panels for windows and doors

-Insert deadbolts, brackets, and screens

-Other miscellaneous costs include graphic design, exhibition signage, mounting brackets, steel signage poles, and shipping.


Your investment supports local jobs! We have hired local companies to provide their services and expertise.


Our goal to raise $20,000 includes the detailed expenses to restore the caboose, outside Museum exhibition history display, and provide funds for ongoing maintenance. You can help us reach our GoFundMe goal of $10,000. Join us and be a part of preserving history.

From bolts and brackets to paint and primer, the Holland Museum is committed to restoring Pere Marquette with the upmost care and attention to detail. Your donation will help us to achieve this goal.

If your gift meets or exceeds $500, you will receive a complementary one year membership to the Holland Museum, which includes free admission, store discounts, and invitations to special events.

If your gift meets or exceeds $1,000, you will be recognized as a donor on Museum exhibit signage at the Padnos Transportation Center.

The restored caboose will become an outdoor exhibition, inviting the community to learn about the history of the caboose, the history of the rail line, and the Holland Museum.

Interested in being a part of restoring history? We’d love to have you along for the ride! Donate today and preserve a piece of Holland’s past.

For more information on the Holland Museum, visit:

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Katie Baker
Holland, MI
Holland Historical Trust
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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