But this 110-year-old car is one of only a few Boston & Maine wooden coaches left ... many have been lost due to neglect and accident. Ours is B&M no. 1246, built in 1907. If you look closely at the photo you can see the weather damage and missing storm windows that have to be corrected. Many other wooden parts have to be replaced. We've done a lot of historical research, have traveled far and wide to learn how to restore wooden railroad cars, and have a good crew with railroad experience, and skill in the woodworking and mechanical arts. There are many missing parts and missing interior furnishings, interior finish damage due to rainwater ingress, so there's a lot of work ahead, but it makes no sense to work like crazy all summer only to have it undone each winter !
Here's what one of her twin sisters, 1224, looked like when new and all dressed-up way back in 1907 ...
Pretty, isn't she ? That's how 1246 will look some day !
A little background: Our museum in Contoocook, NH includes the beautiful depot that was restored some years ago, and this car is the perfect companion piece!
Nearby is the famous covered railroad bridge, the longest in the US, and our wooden B&M coach traveled up and down this line, the Concord and Claremont, for half a century before abandonment. Here's what it looked like all those years ago with a train of similar cars at the station. Maybe this is our car !
So it's a very appropriate artifact for this location and has a lot of meaning for New Hampshire folks whose parents and grandparents got aboard this coach and others like it, right here where it rests now.
We are only now getting started on restoration and have a lot of commitment to "get it done"! But we don't want our hard work to be undone every winter! For only $2000 we can obtain a heavy industrial-quality tarp that will last for many years and preserve the work that we're doing.
And unfortunately, we don't have the deep pockets of some museums that have the large barns and facilities needed to house and manage a 70 foot railroad car. So, all we're asking is a modest amount just to protect this fine example of early 20th-century craftsmanship during the harsh New Hampshire winter when the elements do all of the damage.
We are already sinking a lot of our personal savings into this project, but we need outside help to get it all done. Please, consider a donation that will preserve what's left of our railroad heritage before it's lost to history !!
Thanks so much !!
- Ed Lecuyer
- Jonathan Miner
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