Bar News - September 21, 2007
Giving Back: In Search of a Challenge
NH Attorney Rebuilds, Donates Pullman Car
When the NHBA Bar News asked Manchester attorney David Woodbury [Craig Professional Association] why he spent the last 12 years restoring a dilapidated 1907 Pullman Car, he said half of it was a love of history and the other half was the desire for a challenge.
Last month Woodbury donated the passenger train car to the Contoocook Riverway Association, a nonprofit that works to preserve historic sites and items around the Contoocook River. But he isn’t sad to see it go: “There wasn’t any reason to keep it. It would just deteriorate all over again without constant upkeep and maintenance. Thankfully, the Contoocook Riverway Association said they would take care of it,” he said.
Woodbury found the train, or vice versa, in the winter of 1992 when he was traveling through Bellows Falls, Vermont. The car had been disintegrating on the property of the Green Mountain Railroad since 1959. That’s when Woodbury stepped in and inquired about the price.
“Technically, it cost me one dollar,” he said. “And I also had to pay some storage charges until I could move it.”
The nearest available track was across a nearby river. Woodbury hired a crane crew, took the wheels off the body, and moved all by road to his home in New London.
Woodbury spent the following 12 years refurbishing the train. There were moments when he was struck by what he’d accomplished, considering the time and money, he devoted to the project.
“I’d sit back every now and then, take a look at it, and think, ‘Wow.’ ” he said. “That’s the thing with hobbies; I only put in small amounts of time and money at a time and ended up with the finished project.”
The car can be seen at the Contoocook Railroad Depot in Contoocook, NH.