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Old caboose in booming McCordsville reopens as coffee shop

Coffee at the Crossing continues family tradition inside of train car.
Coffee at the Crossing
Posted at 6:26 PM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 18:34:38-05

MCCORDSVILLE — The town of McCordsville has undergone a lot of change in the past few years, but one longtime community icon is in it for the long haul.

An old caboose on N 600 W just south of Route 36 reopened as Coffee at the Crossing on Friday morning.

Owner Ja'nene Gillam is the daughter of the late Gary Wiley, who ran a barber shop out of the caboose for 30 years. She decided in 2022 to build a coffee shop around the caboose to give her father's old tradition a new life.

"I'm just surprised we were able to stay here and keep the caboose," Gillam said. "The town really put their arms around us and said, 'We want you to stay, we want you to keep it.' Look what's around us, buildings are going up everywhere.'"

McCordsville has dramatically grown since Wiley opened up the caboose for the first time. The U.S. Census reports McCordsville had a population of just 684 in 1990 and 1,134 in 2000. The town now estimates more than 10,000 people live there.

Gillam hoped to save her father's caboose so that old and new McCordsville residents can have a unique place to get to know each other.

"People can reminisce about being here when they got their hair cut or bring in new customers so they can make new memories," Gillam said.

The coffee shop building is new, but the caboose has been preserved from its past. It now features pictures of Wiley, including near the spot where his barber chair once stood.

The Gillams are proud to carry on the legacy in a new form.

"Her dad passed the torch to her today," said Brian Gillam, Ja'nene's husband.

Coffee at the Crossing will host a grand opening ceremony on Friday, March 15. You can learn more about the coffee shop at this link.