Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

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Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:00 pm

When I was a child in the 1980s, my father took my brother and me on a vacation trip to a campground on the Western side of Silver Lake that was run by the YMCA. It was a winter camping trip, and I remember walking on the ice with everyone else and hearing it crack. It scared me. However, I seem to recall seeing a caboose on the far (east) side of the lake, presumably in someone's backyard area adjacent to the water. I think I have a picture somewhere, but can't be sure.

I recently looking online at maps and found no caboose in the area. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby BR&P » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:50 pm

Does this sound familiar? Well, is the Pope Catholic?

I have heard about that caboose for years - no, decades. I have driven around the lake, and poured over aerial on-line pics, and don't believe it still is there. It was a former BR&P/B&O caboose by all accounts, but I have been unable to pinpoint where it was, when it left, or what number it was. Any photo you can find would be a help - there were various rebuilds and other differences, and even if a number was no longer visible I can narrow things down. Until your post, I was not even aware of which side of the lake it was.

Do you recall whether it was the body only, or still on its trucks?
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:47 pm

The lake had really thick ice (thick enough to walk and drive on) but as a young kid I was very scared when we heard the ice make noise. However, I distinctly remember a caboose across the ice. It was red, had a center cupola, and was on trucks (I would have remembered if it was on cribbing). A decade or two ago, I went through my box of pictures I took as a kid and found a picture of the caboose from this camping trip. It was taken from the middle of an icy lake, hence I know where it was. I don't remember enough of the picture to recall if it was lettered or numbered, or whether it was in good condition or not. I just remember thinking a lake of ice was keeping us from going to the caboose.

The location is entirely tied to where the camp was. The YMCA had an organization called "Y-Guides" that was based on Native American themed activities (which reminded me of Boy Scouts and perhaps they were a comparable program). From memory, one winter, we went to Camp Asbury which my father remembered was on Silver Lake. If you look up Asbury Camp and Retreat Center (16 Lakeside Avenue) it is on the east side of the lake. However, it doesn't seem to be affiliated with the YMCA. There is a YMCA camp on the south west side of the lake, but it is not named Asbury. So, I don't really know where the camp was (east/west) but it likely was on the southern half of the lake. But, if you can place the camp, then the caboose had to be nearly directly across the lake from it.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:39 pm

There is a "Caboose Motel" in Avoca, NY, which isn't too far away from Silver Lake. I wonder if they might have purchased it to put in their collection.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby nydepot » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:44 pm

The BR&P caboose and crossing tower (elevated style like the DL&W) were not affiliated with any camp but were up close to the shore at a cottage on the west side. The caboose disappeared in the 90s. It was the full caboose sitting on ties and rail.

It was about here: 42.698998, -78.031999

This point shows the tower on the shore. The caboose was near it. Both painted red. The tower is still there.

Roger Kirkpatrick knew it was there but never had a number for it nor knew where it went.

Charles

P.S. Our family cottage has been on Silver Lake since about 1906. BR&P ran right out the front door. The ties were hot in the summer and the ballast and cinders hurt like hell running over it.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby nydepot » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:56 pm

Camp Asbury is a Methodist summer camp on the east side in the Assembly area. The Y camp is on the west side much further south. The Y camp is directly across from our cottage.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby BR&P » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:51 pm

Benjamin Maggi wrote:There is a "Caboose Motel" in Avoca, NY, which isn't too far away from Silver Lake. I wonder if they might have purchased it to put in their collection.


No, that place had all PRR cabooses. I was there not long after they arrived and bought a bunch of parts from them. That included 2 kerosene caboose stoves - one is in the OMID flanger X263, the other is stored for use in my caboose if I live to 150 years old and get around to restoring it.

Somebody must have pics of that caboose - the family or organization which owned it must have taken some. The problem is finding out who. Does the lake have a HOA or property owners group which might have a newsletter? Might be worth posting an ad in there if there is such a thing.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby nydepot » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:06 pm

Privately owned by a family, in their yard. No HOA, but go for it - http://silverlakeassociation-wny.org
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby BR&P » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:30 pm

Info request sent to the association - I will let y'all know what I hear back.

Thanks Charles!
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby ctclark1 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:17 pm

Benjamin Maggi wrote:The location is entirely tied to where the camp was. <snip> There is a YMCA camp on the south west side of the lake, but it is not named Asbury. So, I don't really know where the camp was (east/west) but it likely was on the southern half of the lake. But, if you can place the camp, then the caboose had to be nearly directly across the lake from it.


Camp Hough. I used to spend a week there every summer when I was in high school ('99-'02) doing technical stuff for one of the coaches at my HS when he used to do a basketball camp there. I don't recall seeing a caboose across the lake, but who knows if I was really paying attention at that point.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby nydepot » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:58 am

You didn't see a caboose across from Camp Hough. It's further up on your side. The OP was confused about camps and directions.

ctclark1 wrote:
Benjamin Maggi wrote:The location is entirely tied to where the camp was. <snip> There is a YMCA camp on the south west side of the lake, but it is not named Asbury. So, I don't really know where the camp was (east/west) but it likely was on the southern half of the lake. But, if you can place the camp, then the caboose had to be nearly directly across the lake from it.


Camp Hough. I used to spend a week there every summer when I was in high school ('99-'02) doing technical stuff for one of the coaches at my HS when he used to do a basketball camp there. I don't recall seeing a caboose across the lake, but who knows if I was really paying attention at that point.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:36 am

nydepot wrote:You didn't see a caboose across from Camp Hough. It's further up on your side. The OP was confused about camps and directions.


I am certainly confused, but it is because Camp Asbury isn't today a YMCA Camp. However, where you give the lat./long. coordinates is nearly directly across the lake from Camp Asbury, which is where I thought the caboose was. Perhaps the YMCA rented the camp area for the retreat in the late 1980s? Anyway, I am still looking for the picture.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby nydepot » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:53 pm

Probably a rental situation. Camp Asbury has always been a Methodist camp, since its inception.


Benjamin Maggi wrote:
nydepot wrote:You didn't see a caboose across from Camp Hough. It's further up on your side. The OP was confused about camps and directions.


I am certainly confused, but it is because Camp Asbury isn't today a YMCA Camp. However, where you give the lat./long. coordinates is nearly directly across the lake from Camp Asbury, which is where I thought the caboose was. Perhaps the YMCA rented the camp area for the retreat in the late 1980s? Anyway, I am still looking for the picture.
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby BR&P » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:00 am

This one is still defying identification and detail. I contacted the Silver Lake Association, who referred me to the Perry historian. No reply to my email to him. Image I might see about placing an ad in the Silver Lake Association page.

In the meantime maybe y'all can help with a couple clues. While not absolute, there were 2 or 3 times when the B&O retired cabooses which would have been in this area. The first was during the rebuild program in 1961. Several were apparently deemed not worth rebuilding - coal was declining, the mines on the old BR&P were winding down. A bit later, ballpark 1966, several of this area's cabooses were re-assigned to other parts of the B&O/C&O system. And finally in the early to mid 1970's, the remaining wood cabooses were retired.

So what I'm asking is the earliest date that someone knows this caboose was at Silver Lake. Your third grade trip, or back when Uncle Joe was still alive. From that date I might be able to eliminate some possibilities based on their known disposition or locations. It still does not get us a pic of this cab while it was at Silver Lake but at least will get a possible ID.

Thanks!
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Re: Caboose at Silver Lake, NY

Postby nydepot » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:59 am

The caboose arrived in the early 1960s and purchased by Robert DeGraff, of Buffalo NY. He has passed but a family friend thinks a son might still be alive. That was the DeGraff cottage.

Charles
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