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How did a caboose end up on a $795K Lopez Island farm?

We shouldn't take for granted that there wasn't a railroad on Lopez Island, but it would be interesting to know how a caboose ended up in the San Juans.

We shouldn't take for granted that there wasn't a railroad on Lopez Island (there was one on Whidbey Island for a while), but it would be interesting to know how a caboose ended up in the San Juans.

The caboose isn't the main price driver behind the listing price of $795,000 for this property back from the water on Lopez. That probably has more to do with the 10 acre farm. It's land in use, unless the real estate agent staged by hiring cattle as showpieces for a while. The outbuildings suggest this place is serious: feeding building, metal & wood shop, equipment barn, greenhouse, and a garden shed. The comparison that proves the point is that the barn is 2,880 square feet, but the house is only 1,350 square feet. Guess which is more important, or at least was to the owners.

The house is important, though. It's a 1 bedroom, 2 bath, which is a remarkably large ratio of footage to bedrooms. The style is pragmatic, appropriately; yet it has materials like oak, granite, and field stone; and features like a sun room that can be very welcome in the winter. There's also a mudroom, naturally. If you had any doubt about the rural character, check out the green tractor wall paper in the bathroom.

Land and the house may be the big ticket items, but the conversation will usually start with the big red caboose. It acts as a guest house. While a caboose can sound like a small space, they carried entire train crews, so this one can fit six - as long as they don't mind bunk beds. Inside, it's brightly painted, and has also been restored. It's a good guess that it is more comfortable now than when it actually rolled on rails. Of course, with 10 acres, could you make a small loop?

· 228 Harald Glen Ln, Lopez Island [Windermere]