Reward offered for return of railroad artifacts
A $300 reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of several railroad artifacts which had recently been stolen from the Caboose Museum in Whitehall.
The museum is on the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce property at 124 E. Hanson Street, next to the chamber’s office which is the former railroad depot.
The chamber of commerce board of directors has approved $200 for a reward, and a nearby restaurant owner has offered to add $100 for a $300 total reward, reported Amy VanLoon, chamber executive director.
“The community is really outraged,” VanLoon commented about the theft of the railroad artifacts. “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback on Facebook.”
VanLoon said the focus is getting the artifacts back. “The justice system will take care of the thief or thieves involved.”
The chamber executive director said more effort has been made to protect the museum and remaining artifacts and equipment.
Temporarily, the broken frame in the door, and the glass in the other door, have been reinforced on the interior by plywood. Also, VanLoon said the remaining artifacts and equipment have been removed from the caboose while the museum is closed for the season.
The theft was discovered Feb. 23 by the museum curator when she visited the caboose which has been closed during the winter.
Because it has been closed, Whitehall Police Lt. Brandon Mahoney said the breaking and entering could have occurred anytime in the past two or three weeks.
The thief or thieves took artifacts, some on loan to the museum, but left other artifacts and some valuable electronic items.
A DVD player and television, along with a donation box with money in it, and other railroad antiques, were not touched
What they did take was a Union Pacific railroad lantern, a Montague Station lantern and switch light, a New York Central lantern, a workman’s lunch bucket on loan and a Missouri Pacific Railroad 1940s calendar, also on loan.
Mahoney said the caboose was entered by carefully removing the frame in the door. Through the opening, the door was unlocked and opened.