Monday, August 8, 2016

Freight cart update

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the museum's Railway Express freight cart was in the process of being rehabbed. This is what it looks like now.
Dave, the guy who worked on it, did an amazing job. I wasn't sure it was actually salvageable when he began because there was so much dry rot. All the boards for the bed of the cart had to be replaced, the wheels were in horrible shape, and in general it was teetering on the cusp of not being worth saving. But Dave pulled it back from the brink.

When the museum closes for the season, we'll move it to a slightly less exposed position under the pavilion roof and put it on jack stands for the winter. I've been wondering it it would be possible to have it shrink-wrapped like a boat. Tarping it won't work. We tried tarping the fire hose cart and failed. The wind ripped the tarp off in record time. I'll have to see if there's anyone in the Baraga area who does shrink-wrapping and just how much it would cost. Given how many hours Dave put into that cart, it would be nice to keep it looking good for more than one season.

The fact the freight cart is looking so good once again has me wondering why the historical society put the storage building on the slab backwards. Back in the '90s, about the same time the museum was being built, the historical society had a large concrete slab laid. They needed a place for the high wheels and a few other items -- the plan was that eventually they would build a pavilion to shelter things. The logging high wheels and a few other things sat on the slab for years; no pavilion. Then in about 1999 or 2000, the society was given a one car garage. It was moved to the site and placed on the pavilion. But, as I've noted before, the garage door is on the wrong end. It faces the lake. If it faced the highway, it would really easy to move the small carts indoors for the winter. But nope, it faces the wrong way.
The facing the wrong way might not be quite as much of an annoyance if there wasn't that tractor sitting on the slab next to the storage building. We could roll things down it and around the corner. As it is, having an ancient McCormick Deering with steel wheels parked there makes things a bit awkward. Although maybe now that the pavilion is done, we should consider moving the tractor so it's under the pavilion, too, instead of parked awkwardly out of sight of museum visitors. I doubt that having that tractor sitting where runoff from the storage building roof drips right on to the engine is doing it much good.

I am occasionally tempted to speculate as to why the garage got put on the slab facing in the wrong direction, but given how many odd things I've stumbled across since I began volunteering a garage door in the wrong location is a minor issue. We are able to roll the hose cart around on the grass and get it into the building for the winter, but can't do it with the freight cart because it's more fragile and has one wheel that won't turn. One of these days I'll have to see if we can scare up enough grant money to put a garage door in on the other end -- it would make life a little simpler.


  1. Can the door be moved to the other end

  2. The door could be moved, but it would be cheaper and easier to just put in another door on the west end. It's a funding issue more than a technical one. One of these years. . . we've spent so much money in the past 12 months between the new siding, the pavilion, and the cart repairs that the budget's taken quite a hit.

  3. need to hold a benefit..bake sale..etc.. the wagon looks great.

  4. Shrink wrap should work like a charm. Out here, they are finding all sorts of things to shrink wrap. A guy down the road had his rook shrink wrapped when winter snuck up on him before he had the new shingles on the roof.


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