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Postcard from the Past: Slow and Easy Caboose Dedication Set

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

In most Wyoming towns, summer signals the start of construction, rodeos, cowboy poetry and music, plus museum history presentations.

Living history at the Grand Encampment Museum (GEM) July 22 tops the events scheduled for this area. This year, the theme is dedications of a recently remodeled caboose which ran on the rails of the now defunct Saratoga and Encampment (S&E) Railway, better known as the Slow and Easy.

During living history, I will be helping visitors pump the printing press at the GEM. Coming off the press will a publication with the following story:

In December of 2014 Gene Bashar donated a wonderful piece of history, a caboose from the S&E Railway, which was delivered to the GEM by Brad Hiebeg.

The caboose was in need of substantial repair, however – see before and after pictures of the caboose in this week’s Wyoming Livestock Roundup.

GEM is blessed to have as wonderful and capable people as Volunteer Jerry Anderson and GEM Board Member Anita Morris. Together, with the aid of Director Tim Nicklas, they were able to rebuild the caboose to authenticity. 

Mike Pannel is an expert on caboose roofs, and his insight was greatly appreciated. The doors, flooring and exterior finish proved challenging at times. Paint was copied to the original color, and window panes are original.

Donations dedicated to the caboose were graciously accepted and used to rejuvenate and enhance this wonderful display.

In 2017, a deck was built across the side of the caboose in hopes of drawing concerts, theater, plays, artists, displays or to use to the imagination. Electricity has been installed to accompany any of the previous mentioned venues.

Discussion of how to safely move a glass display case from the Doc Culleton building to the caboose has been a topic of many board meetings. With the wonderful snowfall we have had this year, this discussion ended with the use of two tractor inner tubes, some rope and local volunteers by loading the case and sliding it across the snow.

Artifacts and displays of railroad history are being moved from other places in the museum to the new facility known as “The Caboose.”

It has been many years of patience and hard work, but finally this summer, the caboose will be dedicated on July 22 and open to the public.

S&E Railway

caboose history

This caboose was built around 1890 on the East Coast. It was purchased by the S&E Railway in 1903 and served on this line from 1908 until 1928, when it was abandoned on a side track in Encampment. 

Eventually, it was moved to a residence in Riverside and used as storage and a workshop. In 2014, the caboose was moved to the GEM grounds.

Over the years, the unit has been renovated, the roof sealed, siding painted and replaced as necessary and a deck built in the fall of 2016. Exhibit and interpretive planning is completed.

The S&E Caboose Renovation Project is funded by donations, memorials and grants. Folks interested in donating to this project, may do so by notifying the GEM staff, in person at 807 Barnett Ave. in Encampment, call 307-327-5308 or visit

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