When I was in the fourth grade, growing up in West Terre Haute, IN, I attended Consolidated Elementary School. My teacher, Mrs. Billing, only THE greatest teacher ever, would read out loud to the class every day. One of my very favorite book series, that she read to us, was The Boxcar Children.

As I sat and listened to her voice reading the story of a family of brothers and sisters living in a boxcar, my mind would wonder off into the woods and into my very own boxcar. Every word she said, drew me into the story. I wanted so badly to live in a boxcar of my own.

I guess that's why when I saw this post on Abandoned and Forgotten Indiana, I was so drawn to the photos and the story attached.

Frank Nelson shared treasured memories from his childhood, growing up in a converted boxcar.

I was a child growing up in this converted boxcar. 4 lived in it. Mom, Dad, myself and my older brother. It's still standing but rotting away very slowly. My dad built on to the back side for him and mom a bedroom. I can't remember how old I was when we moved out to the upper part of the property into a trailer. There's a picture of me with a dog on the front porch. I have no idea of the real story behind it. My brother tried to find pictures of it being moved in. I heard it was put in place with a crane. I was born in 1960. It sets out by the lower golf course in French Lick Indiana.

Sitting on the Porch

Frank and his dog.

Frank Nelson/Facebook
Frank Nelson/Facebook
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Back Window

I believe I lived in it until I was around 8 years old. The memories are difficult being so young. I wish I would have taken pics of the inside. - Frank

Frank Nelson/Facebook
Frank Nelson/Facebook
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So Resourceful

I tried to find out some history on this type of wooden boxcar, but there is very little I cold find. I only know that the wooden boxcar was invented in the 1930's and stopped being used in the 1960's. After that time, steel railcars were used to transport goods.

Frank Nelson/Facebook
Frank Nelson/Facebook
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First Tiny House

Dad buried a 55 gallon barrel for the septic.. I'm not sure what all you have seen. No hot running water. Water had to be heated on the stove for a bath. I remember placing a cold face cloth on the heating stove to warm it up to be able to wash my face. - Frank

Frank Nelson/Facebook
Frank Nelson/Facebook
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Simpler Times

No TV that I remember. I remember the living room being so narrow, with furniture, that 2 people couldn't walk through it at the same time. - Frank

Frank Nelson/Facebook
Frank Nelson/Facebook
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Frank's dad was ahead of his time. Look what people are doing now.

Thank you, Frank, for letting me share your awesome story and photos.

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