Downtown Cave Spring has a new addition to help illustrate the historical significance of the community.
An old caboose, which was donated to the Cave Spring Historic Society, was moved from the outskirts of town near the old railroad depot building to a new site adjacent to the Cherokee Vann Cabin on the square downtown.
Rome historian Selena Tilly said the caboose was originally used on Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad lines and was purchased by a local businessman to serve as a sign for his salvage business.
Cave Spring historian Billy Wayne Abernathy said efforts are underway to trace back its history. The old caboose will ultimately become a part of the display depicting the growth and importance of the railroad in Cave Spring.
Leaders in Cave Spring back before the Civil War formed a local corporation to start planning the railroad line. It was originally part of the Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad, which wasn’t completed until after the war.
The old depot building in Cave Spring was finished around 1880.
By that time, the rail line was under the control of the Eastern Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad.
At one time the caboose was sold to someone in Alabama who ultimately returned it to Cave Spring. When a local businessman sold the depot building a number of years ago, he donated the caboose to the historical society.
It stayed on the depot property until last week because of the expense associated with moving it.
That was until Shane Miller Welding and Mechanical of Cedartown stepped in and agreed to assist with the move.
Abernathy said that the caboose definitely sticks out next to the historic cabin.
The cabin was discovered hidden away inside the remnants of the old Green Hotel building in 2010. Once the original cabin became obvious inside the hotel structure, an effort was made to learn more about its history and save it.
Plans call for the caboose to be refurbished both inside and out as funding is available.