RAYMOND, NH – On Memorial Day, May 31, 2021, the Raymond Historic Society dedicated a restored 1932 Boston & Maine Railroad Caboose to A. Willis Goddard. In 1969 Willis and nine other members established the Raymond Historical Society. Her grandson, Scott Knightly, and his company EnviroVantage donated the restoration work to be done to the historic railcar in his grandmother’s honor.
The B & M Railroad N-5 Series of Caboose were common on rural branch lines where they served as a mobile office and quarters for the conductor and brakemen. In the late 1960s the N-5s received the famous scheme of blue sides with red ends, black roof, white trim, and a large B&M logo on either side. The brilliant blue caboose now greets visitors in the Raymond Historical Society yard next to three other railcars: a 1932 Whitcomb Engine, A 1953 Refrigerator Box Car, and a 1944 Push Car.
This caboose, aptly named “old Rusty” in recent years, is rusty no longer. Restoration efforts began in September 2020 with the set-up of scaffolding to aid in encapsulating the caboose with a plastic tent before sandblasting the entire structure. These precautions were an important part of the safety regulations taken because the aging paint (used on both the interior and exterior) contained lead and needed to be handled and properly disposed of by EnviroVantage’s technicians. After the paint was removed, the sixteen windows in the caboose were taken to be reframed and repaired, a rust inhibitor applied, and then final coats of paint. As the windows took shape in the EnviroVantage shop, the caboose’s roof surface was coated with Herculine truck bed compound, generously donated by Lowes in Epping. The final coats of paint, as well as the logo, were created and applied by Highball Graphics out of West Ossipee before Thanksgiving 2020.
On a bronze plaque affixed to the caboose near the entrance, stair reads “1932 B & M Caboose. Restored 2020. Dedicated to the memory of A. Willis Goddard, a founding member of the Raymond Historical Society. Work was completed through the efforts of her grandson, Scott Knightly, owner of EnviroVantage, in loving memory of his Grandmother.”