Check out this absolutely beautiful caboose, which has the look and feel of an authentic workman's lounge car from the heyday of railroading.
From the stunning woodwork to the tiny, cast iron wood stove to the pressed tin ceiling and the art Deco ceiling lamps, this looks like a restoration – or the amalgamation of an actual caboose with an old-fashioned train station. Instead, it was designed by its owner and built from scratch by North Park Homes & Cabins of Minocqua, Wis.
That owner is a retired train engineer, who plans to fill the caboose-cabin with the railroading memorabilia he has accumulated over the years, North Park says on its Web site. That gives us a chance to take a quick look at the cabin itself, before it morphs into a museum.
Why would a caboose have a side entrance? It wouldn't -- couldn't. Entrances are on the ends only -- of course.
The windows throughout this model are beautiful, art Deco designs. These would look at home in any train station in the days of yore.
This round window is right next to the rear door. (The rear door is actually on the right in this photo. You can't see much door, but you can see the upper hinge with the door stop. The exterior door is white, while the wooden door is an interior door.)
The sign below says it all. But who ever heard of a tiny house devoting this much space to a hallway? This is one of many unique features in this caboose-cabin-private coach.
Note the terrific wainscoting that defines this space.
This is one of two pressed tin ceiling strips in the main room.
OK, we've waited long enough to show this great living space. The art Deco table that is used as a TV stand is just one of the features that gives this caboose its "period piece" look. The rug is also beautiful. And here's one space-saving feature: Most of the stove pipe isn't inside the room. Instead, it exits the room as quickly as possible.
Check out the art Deco ceiling lamps. This is also a great look at the ceiling of the main room.
Here's a truly unique feature for a tiny house: An interior staircase.
This is one of two mirror-image loft spaces, which are, of course, underneath the raised roof section of the caboose. You can see, there are windows on all four sides. Not much sleeping space, but the woodwork is dazzling.
A look at the loft ceiling from downstairs. The small recessed lights help break up the monotony of the lines -- besides adding some light when you need it, of course.
If you build a caboose in Wisconsin, you don't have to explain a sign like this.