THAYER -- The official opening and ribbon cutting for the Thayer Chamber of Commerce Tourist Information Center and Railroad Museum was held April 17.
The Thayer Chamber of Commerce and city officials along with interested residents from around the area attended the event.
Thayer Chamber of Commerce President Jim Hart said the chamber is in the process of hiring a coordinator to oversee the caboose that houses the information center and museum. He said a committee has been formed to hire the coordinator. The committee consists of Bob Eckman, Harvey Allen, Dennis Redmon and Ron Cornelius.
"We have not established a job description for the position. It will be a paid position and the coordinator will oversee the volunteers that man the tourist information center," Hart said. He added that volunteers are also needed to man the center.
Anyone interested can call the chamber office at 417-264-7324.
Redmon and Mildred Cornelius helped compile the history of the caboose-turned- railroad museum and tourist information center.
"In the late 1980s what was then Burlington Northern/Frisco Railroad donated the caboose to the Thayer Chamber of Commerce. The chamber gave the caboose to the city who gave it to McDonald's," Redmon said.
Redmon said when Heather Fisher was Thayer economic developer she applied for a grant through MoDOT for $45,205. That was April 11, 2001. The grant request was received and the tourist information project got under way. Redmon said the grant was made in the name of the city because in order to receive the grant the request had to be made by a government office.
He said the Thayer Chamber of Commerce now has a lease for the caboose from McDonald's owner Norma Hilburn, and the city of Thayer has a lease with McDonald's for the land the caboose is sitting on.
Cornelius said before the caboose was moved near the police station on Front Street, it was on the playground at the old Thayer Elementary School. She said it was moved because it was too dangerous for the children to play on.