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Farewell to the Cozy Caboose

Sarah Harrington

(12/14) After 85 years of serving customers, Thurmontís Cozy Restaurant closed its doors in June. Now six months later, the restaurant is beginning to prepare for what comes next. In order to do that, they have begun selling equipment they no longer need. One of those pieces is the caboose that sits right next to the restaurant.

In October, the caboose was put up for sale at an auction hosted by Mosby and Company. The caboose was among a number of other items that had called the restaurant home for many years. The caboose was bought at the auction and workers began prepping the caboose for the move on Monday, November 25. According to Cozy Owner, Jerry Freeze, the caboose was sold to a park in West Virginia for fifteen thousand dollars.

The caboose was originally made for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. It was one of the last wooden cabooses made before the switch to steel. The majority of the caboose is made of wood, except the undercarriage.

It was taken off the tracks when the railroads turned over to steel, and the Thurmont Junior Chamber of Commerce bought it in the early 70s. The caboose was used as a meeting place for the Commerce, but that only lasted for a few years. In 1979, the caboose was bought from the Commerce by the Cozy.

After purchasing the caboose, the restaurant used the new addition as an office, but over the years the uses for the caboose grew. In the Christmas season it was used as "Santaís workshop." The caboose was transformed each holiday season with Santa and a few mechanical elves. When entering the caboose, customers would see the elves and Santa hard at work creating toys for the children.

The caboose has been a part of Cozy for the last 35 years. Luckily for the Cozy family, they know that it will be going to a good home. Cozy owner Jerry Freeze stated, "Iím sorry to see it go, but I am glad it is going to a good home. The new owners intend to restore it to as close to its original condition as possible."

As the caboose moves on from the Cozy, it is time for the town to look toward the future and see what is next for the establishment. The sale of the restaurant is still in the works. One idea that is on the table is to tear down the existing building and create a more modernized hotel, but nothing has been decided upon yet. The Freeze family continues to explore their options and look forward to the next chapter in the Cozy story.

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