Built in 1881 by the Virginia and Truckee RR as an caboose/combine for use on early C&C trains, this car was modified as Mr. Yerrington’s private car in the summer of 1884.
It served the C&C until just one month prior to the C&C’s sale to the Southern Pacific. After a short ownership by the Inyo Development Co., the car became Superintendent Alonzo Tripp’s car on the narrow gauge Tonopah RR.
Upon the Tonopah RR being standard gauged in 1905, the car – then #5 – was placed on standard gauge trucks until approximately 1907 when it was set on the ground in Millers, NV as a depot. There it sat until the late 1950’s when the body was transported to Laws. It remained at Laws until 1993 when it was moved to San Diego.
Although the car was in excellent structural shape some frame work was required which included reinforcing the end sills with steel. It was then placed on its newly renovated trucks.
Then came the roof. The cupola was removed and some arched roof supports were replaced, and both sides of the clerestory were reinforced to correct sagging (the original roof had been cut when the clerestory was added in 1884, leaving the original interior paint and striping hidden under the false roof). New tongue and groove and tin were then applied. With the roof more or less complete, new redwood tongue and groove siding was milled to duplicate the original. New poplar fascia boards were installed after the siding was on.
While removing the old clerestory fascia, 8 original Virginia and Truckee car shop time cards were found under the trim where they had been used as shims. All were dated between July and August 1884.
Focus was now shifted to rebuilding new end platforms and reinstalling link and pin couplers that were acquired from a junk pile in Keeler. At the same time new windows and baggage doors were also made. The end railings and brake wheels were also completed and installed.
As much of the original wood as possible has been reused, which necessitates many more hours of sanding and filling than would otherwise be necessary.
In 2009 the cupola was reinstalled and the windows were framed and completed. Except for some finish detail, the underside tool box, brake system and final sanding and painting the exterior is complete.