Caboose Junction Resort was the brainchild of Will and Pat Palmer, who moved to Lampe, Mo., in 1972. The couple wanted to offer a vacation experience like no other in the Ozarks, so they decided to convert six authentic Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway cabooses into charming resort units.
The couple’s decision was a big hit as visitors from all across the U.S. continue to come for a stay in the resort cabooses, which border beautiful Table Rock Lake and offer many outdoor, family-oriented activities. Guests also take advantage of the numerous attractions nearby, including Eureka Springs, Silver Dollar City, Shepherd of the Hills, Branson and much, much more.
Folks from all over often inquire about our unique cabooses, which were part of the legendary Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. In the early 1900s, train crews were assigned to their own caboose, which functioned as cozy homes for extended periods of time.
Many cabooses often were decorated with the niceties of family residences and served as wonderful culinary stations, which prepared a variety of foods and desserts. Over time, cabooses lost their purpose as technological advances rendered them unnecessary. Only a few cabooses still are in operation today, serving as a navigating necessity for railway companies.
The cabooses we converted have an illustrious history, operating for more than 40 years before retiring at Caboose Junction Resort. Following their final journey from Wichita, Kan., to Exeter, Mo., the 24-ton cars had their steel wheels removed and replaced with rubber tires. The cabooses then were rigged with special dollies and transported by truck to our scenic location, where they remain stationary and well-cared for. A few of our cabooses are locked onto rails, giving them more of a special, nostalgic feel.
All six cabooses continue to be a big attraction for the thousands of visitors who visit the area each year. The Palmers currently enlist the help of their grandson, Jacob Bauer, in running the resort.