Outdoor Exhibits and Artifacts — Part 1

Caboose #78581

Photo of the caboose and museum in Summer 2014

The Caboose, on the tracks on the east side of the Station building, was built in 1910 in Chicago, as a boxcar for the Grand Trunk Western Railway.

In 1947, the boxcar was converted to a caboose at the Canadian National Railway’s Leaside Shops in Toronto, Ontario. It went into service on December 13, 1947. After retirement, the caboose sat unused on a siding for many years.

In the 1990s, the caboose’s home was the Owen Sound McDonald’s restaurant where it hosted birthday parties. During that time, it even had shag carpeting.

In 2002, the caboose was brought to the Marine & Rail Museum site where restoration work began. It’s exterior was restored to its bright orange colour and logos were added. The interior was returned to close to its original state.

Inside the caboose - summer 2014

Coach #4884

Dining Car with former CN station

Coach #4884 was originally a 1953 Pullman-Standard 76 seat passenger coach built for the Grand Trunk Western Railway. It came to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre in 2015. To read more about the history of Coach #4884, check our page about the Coach.


The Ancaster (tug) photo summer 2014

Harry Warkentin designed the Ancaster and it was built by Russel Brothers Ltd., of Owen Sound, Ontario. The launch took place April 3, 1951. The Ancaster is hull #900 and is one of 330 produced. It is a “winching” tug or “alligator” that has a flat bottom with heavy skids and a front-mounted winch used to haul itself over land to the next lake. 

The Ancaster worked on the Ottawa River as a logging tug for the E.B. Eddy Co., maker of wooden matches. In 1979, the Ancaster sank at the foot of the Chaudiere Falls, and was raised and restored in 1982 by Ontario Hydro to be part of the 150th Anniversary Rideau Canal Floating Parade. 

Due largely to the efforts of volunteer Don Capel and the Owen Sound Historical Society that purchased the tug for $25, the Ancaster returned to Owen Sound on April 2, 1991. 

The Ancaster is most famous for being one of two tugs featured on the last Canadian one dollar bill. The other tug, the Missinaibi, is displayed at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec. 

Chi-Cheemaun Lifeboat #2

The Owen Sound Transportation Company‘s Chi-Cheemaun ferry was built in 1974 and had two open lifeboats and a number of davit-deployed life raft capsules.

In 2013, the Chi-Cheeman’s new electronically controlled evacuation system was installed and the two open lifeboats (seating 53) were replaced with a Zodiac style shepherd vessel, which can hold 100 people.

Instead of lowering lifeboats from the ship into the water, passengers could exit down an inflated double-sided slide into the lifeboats.

The new evacuation system is capable of evacuating all passengers from either side of the ship, within 30 minutes, with far fewer crew. The marine evacuation system includes tow inflatable slides and two fast rescue crafts.

The 25-foot long, Chi-Cheemaun Lifeboat #2 was moved to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre museum site in June 2018.

see part 2 of Outdoor Exhibits