The Ice Cream Caboose is a locally owned and operated business. Tammi & Bruce Wingeier are the owners and operators.
Tammi Wingeier- Conductor
Bruce Wingeier- Engineer
The Ice Cream Caboose became what it is today thanks to a popular children’s book series, The Boxcar Children. Tammi Wingeier, the founder, read the book and ever since has wanted to own a train, specifically a caboose. Finally, in 1996, she would become the proud owner of a 1980 B&O baywindow caboose, car #904017 that was manufactured in Norwalk, Virginia. Because the caboose had been deemed “unworthy” to be a working caboose, it could not be moved on railroad tracks. Instead, the caboose had to be moved by a 50 ton crane and 2 different semi trailers! The caboose is actually not even connected to the wheels, relying on it’s weight to hold it together. Each set of wheels, or trucks, weigh 5,000lbs, top that with a 58,000lb. caboose and the whole things weighs well over 32 Tons (64,000lbs)! Because of the extreme weight, limestone, railroad ties, and a set of tracks had to be laid down to set the caboose on, otherwise it would sink into the ground.
The caboose sat behind the Wingeier’s home for years before Tammi came up with the idea to make it into an ice cream shop. It was a whole family effort to transform it from a once working train caboose into the bright red caboose we all know and love today! The Ice Cream Caboose is into its 13th season after opening in July 2000. Over the years, there has been a roof to cover the deck and a pavilion added. At one point, all 6 family members were working at the Ice Cream Caboose and many still do! Beginning with only a few food items, it has since expanded to a much wider variety including burgers, hotdogs, and many of your fried favorites. Proudly serving Hudsonville hand dipped and Country Fresh soft serve, every sweet tooth can surely be satisfied.
Over the years, we have had visitors from near and far, including school buses full of children on field trips and softball teams, fire trucks, horse and buggies, the Mustang Club, the Christian Motorcycle club and many many more! The Ice Cream Caboose takes pride in serving our friends and neighbors delicious treats by supporting our local vendors. You may have seen the Caboose Crew at the Lowell football games and are currently working on offering mobile services. A special thanks is given to all those who have and continue to support the Ice Cream Caboose.