Magic Within A Caboose

See what magic occurs just down the road

Story by Nicole Weber
Photos by Nicole Weber and Brandon Marshall

what's this pic about?

The Crystal Caboose does not sell Satanic worship products.

Every day, Gail Borkowski wears a purple and white beaded necklace and several rings. The necklace is a medicine piece that a close friend made for her, and the rings are an assortment of different shapes and stones all worn for protection. Borkowski says the Crystal Caboose is a magical place, and to no surprise, the caboose sells magical things and has new age workshops.

William Borkowski says the caboose is a magical place. “People feel better after they leave,” he said. “They’re happier, and their stress is relieved.”

“When you get an idea and it’s the right idea, the universe will support you.”

The Crystal Caboose opened 12 years ago. Gail and her husband, William, always wanted to own a train station, but more importantly Gail felt drawn to 4 Academy St. in West Chazy, N.Y., where the Crystal Caboose and Borkowski's home are now located. “Owning a train station was just a vehicle in getting [William] here,” Gail says, who calls her husband a “train freak.” “When you get an idea and it’s the right idea, the universe will support you,” Gail says.

When the Borkowskis bought the site, it was being used as a bar. Gail says it wasn’t difficult displacing the six customers the bar had to the other bar in town. The next thing they did was ask their neighbors and the town hall if it would be okay for them to have a red caboose on their front lawn. Once they got approval, they just had to get it there.

what's this pic about?

A customer looks at merchandise in the Crystal Caboose.

Before the Crystal Caboose could start its engines, it had to turn its wheels all the way to West Chazy. The caboose was from Massachusetts and was going to be a part of a motel composed of more than a dozen trains. The caboose was lifted by two cranes onto a semi truck and then brought to West Chazy. But even before the caboose could brake, tracks had to be made to hold the caboose in place. Although the caboose is on-site at an actual train station, the tracks it rests on are not original. However, what lies inside the caboose is certainly unique.

Now the caboose is ready to board passengers looking to buy all things magical. Gail says she has been interested in “weird” things since she was a teenager. The Borkowskis started taking a stained glass wand-making class and bought a lot of stones. They started selling the stained glass, but a lot of people were more interested in the stones. Now the Crystal Caboose sells more than 250 kinds of stones from around the world. The Caboose also sells books, jewelry, beads, crystals, and various other things.

Besides the various gifts and objects, the Caboose offers hourly scheduled massages, as well as various new age workshops, all held in the community room. The room is light blue with a dark blue carpet. It has a table for serving tea and hot chocolate, mirrors with frames in the shape of suns and moons, a chakra poster, and a large oval dream catcher. One wall has books shelves with animal figures and books on spirit guides, crystals, and getting in touch with the energy from within and around you. Above the bookshelf is a projector screen, which is facing a projector located in the middle of the room. On the adjacent wall is a built-in glass case filled with beads, gems, and bone pendants in the shape of animals, all of which can be purchased.

Reverend Betty Anna Casinelli met William Borkowski at a dowsing convention. “[Gail’s] husband and I had a lecture together,” says Casinelli. “We talked and Will invited me to meet his wife, and we struck up a conversation at breakfast the next morning,” Casinelli says. Gail and Casinelli consider themselves very close to one another.

“They could be on the moon and it wouldn’t make a difference.”

October 17th was Casinelli's first workshop hosted at the Crystal Caboose. Casinelli has done readings before at the Crystal Caboose. At home in New Jersey, Casinelli does prayers, baptisms, funerals, weddings and sacred sunrise and moon ceremonies, as well as hosting a Reiki group twice a month and a prayer and meditation group once a month. Casinelli is hoping she will be asked to come back to do workshops at the Crystal Caboose again.

what's this pic about?

The Crystal Caboose offers a large selection of multicolored beads, gems, and bone pendants.

Sharon Cheney started doing workshops with the Borkowskis in the early 2000’s. Cheney, originally from Montreal, moved to the Southwest because she kept receiving messages from her spirit guide to move to the there. She visits Montreal and Northern New York two to three times a year. Cheney does readings for clients from all over the world, either over the phone, the Internet, and in person. Cheney says that doing readings through the Internet or over the phone doesn’t make a difference in the reading. “They could be on the moon and it wouldn’t make a difference,” says Cheney.

The first time Cheney did “Spirit Connection,” Gail sat in on the workshop and asked to talk to her spirit guide. Years earlier, Gail had written down what she wanted to be doing. Cheney told Gail that she was doing exactly what she wanted to be doing pertaining to the note. Gail was impressed because not even her husband knew about that note. Gail comments that “Spirit Communication/Connection” is her most popular workshop.

Every day, people go to the Crystal Caboose, and sometimes, the visit itself is a spiritual journey. Gail comments that some people who come to the caboose regularly have “blossomed” into a new person. “I would like to think I had a hand in it,” Gail says. 




Do you believe in magic?

Top of Page