The Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum Foundation announced Tuesday it had partnered with the Temple chapter of the NAACP to raise money and resources to restore the historic Missouri-Pacific caboose that was seriously damaged when three pre-teens illegally entered the train car and lit in on fire in January 2015, burning its all-wood interior despite the quick response of Temple firefighters.
After much research and discussion, the foundation decided the caboose would be turned into a reading and party room that would be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"During the week, children will be able to utilize the space to read books or study, while on weekends, the space will be available to rent for a party area," City of Temple Marketing Program Coordinator Jonathan Logue explained in an email.
At 11 a.m. on Nov. 4, the foundation will hold a buy-a-brick fundraiser for the caboose, where donors can purchase personalized bricks for $50-$100. The money from the sale will support the renovations.
“This project is so exciting. It brings together many groups from our community, working together for a common cause," Museum Foundation President Glenda McDorman said in a press release.
The museum is located in the Santa Fe Depot at 315 West Avenue B in downtown Temple. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information about the fundraiser, call 254-298-5172.