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The Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad

136 East Main Street

History of the LRHS

The LRHS was organized in the summer of 1982 by Oneonta residents Jim Loudon, Russ Hawkins, Dave Jones and Bruce Hodges with two primary objectives in mind. The first objective was to preserve the Little Red Caboose and prevent its removal from Oneonta. This small four-wheel caboose, one of the most historic railroad cars in America, was the site of a meeting on September 23, 1883 at which time eight Oneonta railroad workers organized the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. This tiny group developed into the first national union for railway workers and brought about many of the reforms that made railroad work a less hazardous area of employment. The BRT went on to become the largest transportation union in the world. In 1924 the Little Red Caboose was restored, placed on display in Oneonta's Neahwa Park, and dedicated as a shrine by the national union. The caboose sat safely at its new home until the late 1970's and early 1980's, during which time it was repeatedly the victim of attacks by vandals.

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