Monday, December 27, 2010


Great Lakes Dining Car Wagoneer - history - page

Even had a typo in my web page in the previous post.

Great Lakes Dining Car Wagoneer

For regulars to my website, you know that I publish a yearly newsletter chronicling the new information that I have found. I call it the "Great Lakes Dining Car Wagoneer"
For people who are not regulars, the purpose of the newsletter is to keep people up to date on my research, and hopefully get the word out that I am actively researching diners in the Great Lakes region. The newsletter has been published since 2003, and all back issues are available online.
This year, I have dedicated almost the entire issue to Ward & Dickinson.

Check it out! This link will bring you to my history page, and from there, it is only a click away. (In case you also want to check out old issues)


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quick update - Toronto

Morey's Diner in Oneida is Diner #215.
I need to do more checking on this. Diner #233 and #244 had 1930 openings.

From a Toronto, Ontario Bankruptcy newspaper clipping.
Cars #160 and 162 had a lien on them dated 5/26/28
Cars #161 and 165 had a lien on them dated 8/09/28

The problem with going by these dates is that cars #111-116 had a lien date of 7/12/26
And the Ward & Dickinson ledger says they built 117 in the middle of 1927. So something seems askew with the lien dates. Car 97 was built in Nov 1926.
Also this Grape Belt article seems to help my theory that the newspaper meant 1927
May 3, 1927 : Ward & Dickinson have taken on a larger force at their factory to finish 10 dining cars for immediate delivery to a Toronto Company.
Maybe the Toronto Company decided only to start with 5 diners????

Once I can pinpoint a date for Morey's Diner, it will help even farther with a timeline of diners.

The diner in East Syracuse does not have the original backbar, so no chance of a tag there, but I did send a letter to Silver Creek, because in looking at my pictures, I noticed that Steve's Diner does indeed have the original backbar.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Utica - Rochester Grills

At the same time two Sterlings were coming to Utica, a Rochester Grill also arrived. Shown here is a chain of two diners. The first was a Bixler, and the second was a Rochester Grill. For people in the know, Mr. Shale's name will sound familiar.

He originally worked for Bixler and jumped to Rochester Grills when business for Bixler dried up. It is quite possible he also made furniture and pianos for the Rochester company either before or after (maybe during???) his dining car career.
Rochester Grills was not a prolific company. They were around from late 1935 through about 1940 and we know of about a dozen diners that they built. I was able to discover that two of their employees were from Livonia, NY and the local paper mentioned that this worker went on the road for Rochester Grills about six times, getting the diners in place. The only new piece of information was a Rochester Grill diner sent to New York City. Other Rochester Grills went to places in New York state like Sidney, Norwich, Johnson City, Watertown, Olean and Bradford in Pennsylvania. you can still get light fare at the diner in Bradford, as they have recently reopened the place as a place for food and gifts. "Grandma's House Tea and Gifts" can be found on facebook.

Ward & Dickinson #310 found

Word has reached me from Middletown, PA that Kuppy's Diner is #310. This diner was brought into Middletown in 1938, so this makes the Chautauqua diner a little bit younger.(early 1938 or maybe 1937)
On a side note, the Westfield, NY historian(Marybelle Beigh) has been able to make contact with a gentleman who ran a diner in Sherman, NY, starting after WW2. The short story is that they found a diner stored at a baseball field in Corry, PA, and bought it and brought it up Sherman. The story gets a little strange as the diner was plopped onto tired, which naturally blew as the diner was set on them, so the diner was cut into four pieces and moved in sections to Sherman.
The historian will be meeting shortly with this gentleman to talk about the history of the diner and hopefully pick up a copy of a photograph of the diner, so I look forward to identifying the maker of the diner. Initial research shows the (verified) Mulholland which was in Corry is the front runner. That diner disappeared somewhere between 1943 & 1957(no city directories available in between these years.)