HISTORIC SANTA FE DEPOT/ VISITOR’S CENTER IN WICKENBURG
The 1900 Series Southern Pacific Drover Caboose was purchased from the State of Nevada Historical Railroad Museum in Boulder, Nevada, by Viola Wellik and The Wellik Foundation as a gift to the Town of Wickenburg in June 2003. Volunteers from the Nevada Historical Railroad Museum and University of Las Vegas Students worked nights and weekends to complete the reconditioned caboose interior and exterior. The caboose was at one time painted a bright yellow. Its interior paint is original. Historically, “The Drover” Car was set behind the cattle car, and cowboys stayed in the caboose and managed the herd. This particular Drover Car ran the route from Montana to California.
Vi Wellik, owner of the Flying E Ranch and principal in saving and restoring the Santa Fe Depot in 1987, felt the completion to Historic Frontier Street would be to relocate the Santa Fe Locomotive #761 & Tender and find a caboose as a final compliment. For over 45 years the late George & Viola Wellik have made generous contributions for the betterment of our community. Mrs. Wellik passed away in February 2004.
The Wellik Foundation approved and financed the relocation expenses and purchase of the Drover Car. The Town of Wickenburg was presented the Locomotive & Tender by The Round-Up Club/Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce in 1953, after the Santa Fe Railroad gifted it to the organization. The Wellik Foundation presented the Drover Car to the Town in October 2003, and is managed by the Chamber of Commerce.