Although no one currently lives in it, the authentic red caboose located at 5008 Rockaway Beach Road has been inhabited from time to time. According to current property owners Nancy Scharf and husband Doug Hansmann, the caboose—situated in front of their waterfront home— was brought to this location by the previous owners who purchased the property nearly 40 years ago.
Paul and Helen Cope bought the caboose at an auction in Tacoma during the mid-1970s and at some point converted it to a little guesthouse, complete with blue shag carpet, bunk beds and a small kitchen. The Copes had used the space as a guesthouse for their grandchildren.
Current owners Scharf and Hansmann eventually converted the caboose into an office space for Scharf. They removed the beds and kitchen and put in a desk and computer, along with doing some general repairs such as replacing windows and siding.
At the time Scharf worked as a business consultant for the IRS, focused on small, high-tech companies. Since retiring three years ago, she rarely uses her caboose office space now. “I need to clean up all those files in there,” she said.