---> [Restoration] <---
Goodell Dining Car 101
Gilbertsville, NY & Towanda, PA
Help save a diner, and enjoy a nostalgic read. "New York (upstate) in 1905" is now for sale by the author, Michael Engle. This book is a collection of newspaper clippings from 1905. Go to www.nydiners.com/1905.html for more information on the book, and how to order a copy for yourself.  Profits from this book go to the restoration of the diner, even with Gordon Tindall now owning the diner.

diner being loaded in Wellington, Ohio 2003

Thanks to Glenn Wells for allowing us to use the above photo. Please give him credit if you use this photo. -2006

2007-2008 - Check out You Tube for some videos of the restoration process in Towanda, PA  May-June 2007

Background/Progress -

  About two years ago(2001), Daniel Zilka, director of the American Diner Museum sent me a picture from wellingtonohio.com that showed a 1920's wooden diner right next to a gasoline station.  In finding out that the diner still existed today, I went out to Wellington one winter weekend with two of my friends.  Upon seeing the diner, it looked nothing like it did in the picture on the outside, but the inside was just something to see.  The ceiling was all original, along with original stools.  I knew this was a special place.  Thusly, every time I was going through Ohio, I made it a point to stop.  In early 2003, two diner fanatics like myself let me know that the diner was in jeopardy of being razed, in favor of a strip mall.  I contacted the current leasee of the diner, Sandra Aden and found out it was true.  I let her know that if no one in town wanted the diner, I would love to be able to take it.  Unfortunately, no one in the village of Wellington was interested or had the resources to keep the dining car in town.  So, in October, plans were made to have the diner prepared for a move.
  On November 10th, The diner in Wellington, Ohio headed on a flatbed truck to Gilbertsville, NY.  It arrived the next day.  Volunteers from the American Diner Museum, including Daniel Zilka and Toni Deller sacrificed time and effort to help with taking off the "newer" exterior and detaching the dining car from the back building.  Without them, this would not have been possible.   
  This webpage will chronicle the developments in the restoration process of the diner.  Also, below, will be some of the history of the diner when it sat in Wellington, Ohio.

  February 2007 - The diner has been given to Gordon Tindall who has already restored one diner, ironically also built in 1927.   This will ensure the diner being restored.  The other diner is called the Red Rose Diner, which Gordon runs in Towanda, PA. Visit him!

May- June 2007 - Gordon has been tirelessly working on the diner.  He works on the diner after he closes up at noon on Saturday, usually all day Sunday and Monday evening after he closes up after lunch.  Gordon states that the little things, like progress, getting a new coffee grinder that will look perfect in the diner, keep him going.  He has really made great progress. Gordon has re-framed the entire back side of the diner. He has placed the bottom window sill on one end of the diner and put siding on parts of the back of the diner. As of July 1st, he was working on finishing up the other end of the diner, obviously making the two walls meet at the corner has been a tough and trying situation, but Gordon is meeting the challenge head on.

Work done while in NY --- NYDiners.com

The Move -


 Here is how the work went, in Ohio.  First, the vinyl siding was taken off.  Behind this was a black paper used in building which covered plywood in most places.  The windows in the front were then taken out, as they were a newer storm window type.  Next, the newer roof was taken off, which only consisted of an aluminum roof and 2x4's for support.  This was followed by the vestibule be taken down.  On the left end of the diner, some plywood was taken down to reveal two of the original style windows, just missing bottom pieces of the window.  But we do have the dimensions.
Back to the roof, below the aluminum roof was about a foot of free floating insulation.  This had to be pushed back into the back building.  In doing so, Toni found the 4 screens for the transom windows.  Three were in relatively good shape.
Inside, the carpeting that was on the floor was taken up.  This revealed many layers of old flooring that were added over the years.  We left them on in the sake of time.  We did take the counter up.  when working on the lower half we found that the base of the original counter is still there.  Also, much of the original wall, below the windows level, is still there.  When we took out the wall where the booths would have once been, we found the original wall, with an outline of the booth that was against that wall.
  This will help when the front wall needs to be reconstructed.  It seems that part of the front wall was chopped off when the aluminum roof was added, so that now with that roof gone, there is a space between the outside and the inside of the diner.
The tough part was disconnecting the diner from the back building.  The boards had to be sawed off when they connected to the monitor back part of the diner, and just past the end of the diner.  The same had to be done at the base of the diner and the back building.  In doing so here, enough space had to be given so that the back building would not lose all of its support when the diner was cut free.  Even more, a makeshift support wall had to be built for the back building, so it would not collaspe once completely detached from the dining car.
  We had hoped that all the work would be done by Saturday and Sunday would be a free day to tie up loose ends.  But this was not the case.  Sunday was a long long long day of intense work.  We had to work until about 8 pm and still were not done.  Come Monday, the riggers showed up and started to prep the diner so it could loaded on the truck.  First, the diner was lifted up into the air by hydrolic jacks.  Then, it was slid onto I-Beams which brought it over to the truck.  Finally it was secured on the truck and all that waited were the permits that would allow the diner to once again head back to its home state of New York.
  This lst picture is showing the front wall of the diner from the inside.  The counter is cluttered with assorted items.  Where there is space for 5 windows, there were originally 7 windows.  These will be put back in.  Note that the ceiling is original, as is the wall below the front windows.