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Today's word on journalism

Monday, September 3, 2007

"I've always been all over the lot in my writing. Except for poetry -- even though they say all the old-time sportswriters use plenty of it. Maybe it's just part of what we do."

--Frank DeFord, 2006

Caboose in Newton back yard serves as Steam Gauge Museum

By Lisa Rose

April 10, 2007 | NEWTON -- A green and yellow caboose in the Newton neighborhood may look unusual, but the 100-plus steam gauges inside are in the perfect place.

When Barry David, a collector and expert on steam gauges, finished his 2003 book The Antique American Steam Gauge, a Collector's Guide, he said it was time to tackle another project. With his wife, Jeanine, eager to get the collection out of the house, David purchased a 45,000-pound caboose to serve as a museum.

"It took a really big truck and a really big crane," David said of the feat to get the caboose from the old sugar mill in Ogden to the cement pad in his back yard at 161 S. 100 East.

Once the fire-damaged caboose was in place, David restored it to its original form as best as possible. Now it displays his steam gauges, the collector's guide he authored and the library of research he needed to write the book.

David's gauges date to the 1850s and are valued between $50 and $2,000. His favorite is an 1889 Northern Pacific Railroad steam gauge with an engraved locomotive. He said he likes "anything that ties a person to an old locomotive."

In the past three years he has begun hiking the Bear River and Wellsville mountains for mining history items. David said he loves antiques of any kind. But after collecting steam gauges for more than 20 years, it's no wonder that gauges are his specialty. Locomotive boiler gauges, brake gauges, heating and lighting gauges, feed water and stoker gauges, traction engine and early fire engine gauges are some of his collections displayed in the caboose.

"It's my way of connecting with the past," he said.

To tour the museum, contact the Antique American Steam Gauge Museum at 161 S. 100 East, Newton, Utah 84327, or visit for more information.



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