Table of Contents

Genesee County

Batavia -

2/18/1926-  Samuel Messer jones of Springfield Mass., had the happy thought. Meant for Small Towns - Samuel Messer Jones, inventor of the modern lunch wagon, died in  Springfield, Mass., the other day. In the mid-eighties be realized a peculiar need of the average small town, whose custom was not large enough to induce the ordinary restaurant keeper to ply an all-night business, and he provided the means whereby that need might be met. After experimenting in Worcester he moved to Springfield in 1889 and there sent out his first modernized lunch wagon, suitably named, “The Owl,” says the New York Times. In the majority of the smaller towns in Jones's earlier day, the stores would close at 6 o'clock and a couple of hours later the restaurants and hotel kitchens were fast shut for the night. The native, unless socially engaged, was within his own castle, the drawbridge up and the portcullis down. After 9 the lone policeman on his beat eyed the furtive and questing stranger with dark suspicion. Had he a home? If so, why didn’t he stay there? The policeman did not realize that the suspicious look may have been that of a hungry man hunting for ham and eggs. Into such dull-streeted communities came the lunch wagon, its cheery light shining like a hospitable deed in a chilly world, and responding in a degree to old Omar’s feeling: A moment’s half—a momentary taste. Of Being from the Well amid the Waste, And lo! the phantom caravan had reach’d , The Nothing it set out from—Oh, make haste! Even after competition entered the field, the lunch wagon’s superiority was apparent to bohemian tastes, The “quick lunch,” whatever its merits in other directions, sought most of one’s money and least of one’s company. Eat, pay, get out, was its keynote, and it failed to keep on the premises the tar water of Mrs. Joe Gargery of “Great Expectations,” the remedy for food bolting which she poured down the throats of her big husband and little Pip on occasion. The one-arm-chair lunch also had its defects: one cannot dine in real comfort when in fear of having one’s eye squirted with a neighbor’s grapefruit. The lunch wagon reduced these perils to a minimum by providing a sort of table d’hote counter and giving a trifle more elbow room. This, however, was not its greatest attraction. Probably if the average man spoke his mind he would admit that he would rather eat supper in the kitchen than in the most gorgeously appointed dining room ever equipped. The cat purrs nowhere so contentedly as before the kitchen stove. Let a man eat at a whitei spread table—preferably in his shirt sleeves—with curtains drawn, lights shining, food taken sizzling from oven or stove pot, and he will ask no higher bliss in this department of life. This kitchen atmosphere the lunch wagon supplied. It also reduced culinary mysteries to a minimum. In the ordinary restaurant the diner eats in what faith he may possess. The lnnch wagon specialized on frankness. One might examine the steak before it went to the fire, or give the doubtful egg a more or less expert appraisal.   Mr. Jones, the inventor of the lunch wagon, was a publicist of parts, cutting some figure in the Populist campaign, thence developing sympathies for the Bryan Democratic party, and winding up as a Socialist. That he traveled along the road of minorities probably added to rather than detracted from his attractiveness and influence, since opposition rather than it acquiescence in popularly held views often makes for both color and back bone in the individual. He had an analytical mind that was shown in his discovery that even in the comparatively small town are diversities of appetites calling for differences in foods. It is said that he divided the it town of his experiments into districts or belts; this section patronised the hot-dog predominantly; that the more artistocratic sandwich; the other probably New England to thee backbone—the pie.

After coming from Jamestown, New York, Robert Augram had a Ward and Dickinson diner #15 at 20 Jackson St.

10/27/1927 -  Wait'll you See Our New Dining Car. It's onthe Way.  It will be better equipped, longer, finer in every way. That's what you' have to look forward to, when the new car comes. And we'll be able to give you even better service.  Batavia Dining Car. Robert Augram, Prop. Next to Family theatre on Jackson Street.

11/1/1927 - We're open for business! The new Batavia dining car is here.  Come down and look us over. The best equipment, newest things to insure quick service, and more room for you- akk these things you will find in this brand new, bigger and better Dining Car. We're here to serve you better food! Batavia Dining Car, Robert Augram, Proprietor. Next to Family theatre on Jackson Street.

 He quickly replaced this with a larger diner and ran that for a few more years.  That diner was moved to 642 East Main and Edward A. Edsall ran it for about ten years before selling the diner to Stephen Szustak.  The diner may have moved again to 576 E Main, but I have not verified that as of yet.

1939  - “Shorty", the chef, shares the fame of the proprietor, Edward A. Elsall. at the East Main Diner, No. 542 East Main street, eating spot that is popular with many townspeople as well as the transport truck drivers who have a reputation for knowing where good food is served. A dining room seating 24 was added to the diner and new, modern, equipment installed throughout the kitchen recently.The diner is open 24 hours a day. Many travelers stop regularly at the East Main Diner, famous for its regular meals and desserts. In addition the diner enjoys the patronage at many Batavia residents and it is popular with family parties on Sundays. During the winter special Sunday dinners are featured at prices that make it cheaper to eat out than remain at home. The diner has the advantage of an unusually large parking area for the convenience of its patrons

2/5/1941 - East Main Diner Proves its worth. NOW IN ITS EIGHTH YEAR Home cooking of wholesome foods and serving them in a delightful atmosphere is an 'A-l. recipe for the sources of an eating tablishment and this is correctly proven In the East Main Diner operated by Edward A. Edsall of No. 643 East Main street. Now in its eighth year of serving Batavians who wish to dine out occasionally as well as thousands of passing tourists, the East Main Diner has a wide reputation for good food. In fact, it is more than a diner being a complete restaurant by containing a refined dining room as well as an up-to-date diner which in all will accommodate fifty people. Mr. Edsall, Its proprietor, credits a large portion of the diner's popularity to the firm's chef, “Shorty” Xlabe. Those who find the East “Main Diner the correct stopping place whether for a full dinner or a snack are unanimous In their praise of “Shorty’s” tried chicken specialty and credit him with the delicious variety of edibles which range the menu. Twenty-four hour service is provided and many transport truck drivers who know good food are early morning customer*. With Batavians the diner is especially noted for its family parties on Sundays. Special dinners are in order on Sundays with the price fixed so that it makes it cheaper to eat at the East Main Diner than to remain at home. Plenty of parking space available

Another Ward and Dickinson diner was at 42 Jackson St.  This replaced an older lunch wagon around 1928.  William S. Rippey called it Rippey's Grill and ran it up until the end of WW2.  Joseph and Lena Fraterrigo ran it up until urban renewal forced them out of the diner.
2/21/1933 - 5 yr anniversary

10/23/1944 - RIPPEY’S DINER SOLD - TO AN EMPLOYE THERE Joseph Fratterrigo of No. 122 Liberty street today assumed possession of Rippey's Diner at No. 42 Jackson street which he recently purchased from Mr. and Mrs. William & Rippey of No. 11 Lewis avenue, who have conducted the business for the past eighteen years. Mr Fratterrigo has been connected with the diner for 17 years. Mr. Rippey will devote full time to the Monagle ice cream business with which he has been assisting.

The Blue Bus Diner at 8 Court St ran from 1929 to 1964 with a number of owners.  I would assume this is one of the Modern Dining Cars that Mr. Pickup mentioned.

7/3/1929 -  Announcing Opening of Blue Bus Diner, Court St, next to Blue Bus Terminal. This diner is one of the successfully operated units of New york City, where Courtesy, quality and Cleanliness Prevail. Meals and Lunches Served at All Hours at Reasonable Prices. We solicit your patronage.

1/11/1930 - Real home Cooking at the Blue Bus dining Car. Court Street, Batavia.  The owners of the Blue Bus Diner takes pleasure in announcing that beginning Saturday, January 11, 1930, the management of the business will be under the personal supervision of Mrs. E.V. Joseph, who has built a reputation for HOME COOKING in successfil dining cars at Warren, PA., and East Aurora, N.Y.
Try our special "BLUE BUS BLUE PLATES" with their tasty food prepared by Mrs. Joseph and you will become a regular patron of the Blue Bus Diner.

Ward and Dickinson diner #18  was moved to Batavia from Hammond, Indiana and opened up July 1932 on West Main in the Redfern Terrace section of town by Herbert L Morse.  More called the diner, Morse's Diner.  It is not known how long Morse kept the diner as part of the building, but in the 1944 time frame he changed the name to the Cape Cod Kitchen.

Texaco Town had a diner in Pavillion at the junction of US Rt 20 and NY Rt 63.  There is a postcard of the place, but the diner is in the background and it is tough to tell if the diner was a barrel roof or trolley car styled diner like a Ward and Dickinson.  Even more of a mystery was the Texaco Town Diner #3 in West Batavia on NY Rt 5 @ Pearl St.  No photo of this place exists, so it may not be an authentic diner.  From 1940 to 1942 John Bridger was listed as the owner and in 1944, Otis W Zavitz.  Wonder where Texaco Town #2 was?

A Liberty dining car was placed at 566 E Main. Deming S Wilson was the first owner who sold to Sherman Slocum's father.  Sherman ran it for a few years before selling to Frederick J Holwell.  Along the way, the diner had a huge explosion that destroyed all originality of the diner.  The business still exisits today, but the explosion destroyed the Liberty diner.

8/29/1938 - In conection with the second anniversary of the business under the present management and the installation of new electric equipment to completely modernize the kitchen, the Miss Batavia Diner at 566 East Main St is inviting visitors to inspect the building tomorrow. Sherman B. Slocum of No. 534 East Main street is owner and manager of the business.  The present owner became manager when the diner was puchased two years ago by his father, Fred C. Slocum of Byron and his uncle, former Councilman Harry B. Slocum of Batavia. The latter’s interest was purchased by Sherman Slocum during the past year. Operating on a 24-hour schedule, the diner has a staff of 11 employes, Including a full-time chef who prepares a menu of at least forty items each day, one of the largest varieties of meals offered by any diner or restaurant in the area, and a baker who makes all the pies, cakes, cookies, rolls and other baked goods served to the many customers. In addition to a large patronage from the Batavia area the diner boasts of its reputation among truck drivers who operate through this area as a fine eating place. It is a recognised “Star Truck Stop.” designated by the Transport Drivers, Inc, because of its service to drivers. All employee of the diner are Batavians and all buying is done locally, Mr. Slocum pointed out. He said over $4,000 has been spent during the pest year for new equipment, Including an Edison Hotpoint electric range, the first 'commercial range of its kind in the Batavia area. The diner has $2,500 worth of electric refrigeration to make possible maintaining a large stock, the inventory of food on hand at all times being between $600 and $800.  “Twice each year the diner is completely redecorated and the management boasts of the cleanliness in preparing and serving meals. Mr. Slocum said wages paid the employes are above the average and all those employed for a year or more receive a week’s vacation with pay.

Owner and employees of the Miss Batavia Diner, who are holding open house tomorrow on the occasion of their second aniversary. Front row, from left: Patsy Grasso(sp?), short order cookl David Jensen, short order cook and assistant manager; Eleanor Stafford, waitress; Vira Ingalabe, watiress; Dominic Gizzi, waiter, William Riche, kitchen helper; Otto Fricker, pastry chef; Claude Russell, dinner chef. Back row, from left: Sherman Slocum, prop and mgr; Mrs. Slocum, boockeeper; George Theobald; waiter; Wailliam Warrinerl kithcen helper; Frank Corliss, waiter.

Sherman B. Slocum, owner and manager of the Miss Batavia Diner, is a native of Addison and came to Batavia two years ago to take charge of the business. He is a graduate of Addison High School, attended Cook Academy at Montour Falls for a year and the Rochester Business Institute for two years. For four years before coming to Batavia he was Pittsburgh area manager for the Detroit Paper Products Co. with seventy men working under him. On September 14, 1935. Mr. Slocum married the former Miss Ruth Theobald of Plttsburgh, who is now in charge of all bookkeeping and other office work in connection with operation of the diner. Mr. Slocum is an active member of the Batavia Junior Chamber of Commerce.

To mark his second anniversary in business and the installation of a new electric kitchen and other equipment, Sherman B. Slocum will hold open house tomorrow at Miss Batavia Diner, No. 568 East Main street in order to express, tangibly, his gratitude to the general public, Mr. Slocum will present, to every caller a cup of LaTouraine coffee as he regularly serves it and some delicious pastries baked in his new electric oven. Visitors to Miss Batavia Diner tomorrow will find their first impression to be one of spotless cleanliness of the establishment
Quaint curtains set off the gleaming metal of the working spaces and lend a much appreciated "homey" atmosphere to the place. On the counter will be pies, cakes, cookies, doughnuts and other pastries fresh from the bakery department No commercial baked goods have ever been served in this diner. All baking is done on the premises. Thermostatically controlled warming ovens keep cooked food at the right serving temperatures at all times. French frying, instead of being done in the old style “grease pot" is here accomplished in an electric fryer, kept as clean as that of the most fastidious housewife.
good coffee is one of the most necessary of all the items on a restaurant's bill-of-fair and Mr. Slocum asures that his patrons will never be disappointed on this feature.  Most expensive restaurant coffee is used and that remaining in the urn after 45 minutes is thrown awat and fresh coffee brewed.  "It's always fresh coffee at Miss Batavia Diner," says Mr. Slocum.
The new Frigidaire water cooler is a very welcome feature of the recently installed equipment. Clear, cool water in any quantity is available instantly. In the kitchen the first item of interesting equipment that will impress callers tomorrow is the electric dishwasher. What housewife would not react enthusiastically to a machine which will thoroughly wash in boiling water and douse in a sterile rinse three thousand pieces every hour? Next to the dishwashing department is the electric meat slicer, which assures every portion being the same thickness as the others. Complementing the slicer is an electric meat grinder in which[continued on the 6th page]

Otto Fricker of No. 41 Vine street, a Batavia baker for the past 45 years, does all of the baking for the Miss Batavia Diner. Each night he makes an average of thirty pies, 35 dozen rolls, twenty sweet rolls and friedcakes, cookies, cakes and other pastries.
Claude Russell of No. 117 Jackson street, chef at the Miss Batavia Diner, started as a waiter and was placed in charge of the kitchen after being thoroughly trained in modem cooking methods. He provides dally menu including at least forty items.

9/8/1942 - DINER COFFEE CUSTOM GOES OUT OF EXISTENCE That old diner custom of drinking half a cup of coffee and then asking the counterman to “warm it up” by filling the cup again is going to disappear. At least it's going to disappear for the price of five cents. Noting the shortage which left some stores without coffee at the end of last week and practically all having a policy of selling only to recognized customers or to persons who purchase other groceries, one downtown restaurant posted a sign this afternoon raising the price of a cup of coffee to ten cents. The coffee will be a nickel higher if it’s ordered alone, but “Java” taken with a meal will still be five cents in this establishment. And, there’s a limit to it now, also. One cup to a customer.

Le Roy -

Le Roy was the first home of Ward and Dickinson diner #54.  Clive and Estelle Howard brought the diner to Le Roy at the end of May in 1926.  They placed it by the Wiss Hotel on Lake St.  By 1932, Estelle had divorced and kept the diner.  She moved it in December of 1932 to Perry, New York.  This was not the end of diners in Le Roy.  Not even the end of diners for the location where the diner came from.  But in the meanwhile Dorothy Legg brough a Ward and Dickinson diner into town in February 1931.  She ran it for a couple of years before selling it to Walter Bird and Gerald Mead.  Not too many months later, Bird and Mead moved the diner to Wellsville, New York, where the business stil exists today. Although the diner was long ago remodeled beyond recognition.

12/17/1930 - Mr and Mrs Francis Legg have leased of Harry spiller, his vacant lot on the south side of Main street adjoining the former Bank of Le Roy building now occupied by Frank riso, tenant. Mr and Mrs Legg have purchased of Ward and Dickinson of Silver Creek, one of their latest types of lunch car about April 1st. The lease was handled through Chapman's Real Estate Agency which has also leased for William A Artman, hhis small place on Wolcott street road to Edward Bennett who has taken posession.

9/28/1932 -  Announcement. This is to announce to our friends and customers that we will discontinue  service at the dining car which we have maintained at the Socony station on Tuesday, October 4th. At that time we will reopen for business in the former LALLY TAVERN where we will maintain a lunch car service and dining room service, both of which will be entirely separate. We have found this necessary because of our increasing business and the requests of our customers for more adequate accommodations. We are very happy to have obtained the former tavern as it meets our requirements in every way. The entire building is to be completely repainted and redecorated both inside and out and the kitchen is undergoing a thorough renovation.

4/26/1933 - Lunch car would move
Gerald Meade, proprietor of the lunch car now located at the rear of the old Bank of Le Roy building and adjoining the Standard Oil Company parking space, appeared before the board in connection with the removal of his car to a location directly in front of the building next to the Presbyterian church, owned by Mrs. Mary Sparacino. President Gayton said that because of the certainty of much public opposition to the granting of the request, action would be deferred until the next meeting.
About two years ago, Mrs. Howard, then operating a lunch car on Lake street, made a similar petition but so much public sentiment developed against having Main street cluttered up with a lunch car at this point that the request was withdrawn.

5/3/1933 - LUNCH CAR LOCATION. There is pending before the village board of trustees the application of Gerald Meade, proprietor of the lunch car now located in the rear of the old Bank of Le Roy building, to move the car out in front of the Mrs. Mary Sparacino property which adjoins the Presbyterian church. There is just about enough space between the building on Mrs. Sparacino's property and the sidewalk to allow for the installation of the car. The filing of an application by Mr. Meade is a courteous act on his part in view of the fact that the trustees have no legal power to prevent Mrs. Sparacino from leasing the land for this purpose or to stop the applicant from moving the lunch car to the proposed location. On this basis Mr. Meade must be credited with good citizenship in a desire to work with the village authorities and the people of Le Roy rather against them even though the law may favor that which he proposes to do. Lunch cars in many instances constitute very convenient eating places. Reports we have gathered on this particular car of Mr. Meade’s indicate that it is well operated and that this genial young man has already made many friends during his short residence in Le Roy. The fact remains, however, that lunch cars are not particularly ornamental and that one parked lengthwise along the sidewalk in the business section of Le Roy or any other village of like size detracts from the appearance of the town and cheapens it in the eyes of the public. It is possible, though somewhat questionable, that Mr. Meade would gain somewhat in transient business if his car was placed in the proposed location. As against this be would be certain to lose local trade because of the general feeling that the car should not be set so prominently On Main street, and the resentment that is certain to result.
While the present location of the car is somewhat back from the street, in many ways it is ideal. There is ample parking space about it, it is removed from the noise and dirt of traffic and the oscillating electric arrow directs attention to its twenty-four hours daily. If Mr. Meade should conclude  to withdraw the application and leavethe car in its present location, it is our conviction the people of Le roy would express their approval through increased patronage. During the past three or four years Main street has been decidly improved with new store frons and other changes. For the past quarter century Le roy has been gaining one by one its ideals for a cleaner and better village. It is to be hoped that Mr. Meade will join in this program and not do anything to detract from that which has so well been accomplished.

Back to the Wiss Hotel.  Another Ward and Dickinson was brought into town not too long after Howard took her diner to Perry.  We have no clue where this diner came from, but to the best of our knowledge, it seems like a diner from the first 100 diners built, as it did not have an overhang on the end of the roof.  If this is indeed true, then ther are only a few diners it could be.

4/25/1935 - The request of Mrs. Maybelle Randall of Warsaw for permission to install a new steel dining car on leased land adjacent to the Hotel Wiss on Lake street was granted.

Sometime in 1982 - The diner, decorated in copious valances of blue flowered wallpaper, with nearly matching blue curtains and counter-stool pads, was filled to capacity when a dozen customers chanced to come in all at once. This was often considered a small drawback as diehards stood their way through morning coffee-and in decent summer weather stood outside and had their coffee handed out through the windows. Wallpapered tin cans received various monies, at Winnie’s discretion: her own peculiar and very effective bookkeeping system. Winnie or her daughter Carol, also a fixture for the last eleven years since the passing away of Mr. Hameister, just asked each customer what they had and totalled the bill in her head. Informality ruled. Food was referred to by various names of convenience. Winnie’s own home made, and excruciatingly delicious cinnamon bread was ‘ funny bread’ ; scrambled eggs with potatoes were ‘ the mess’, and so on. Homemade jams and jellies graced the breakfast toasts and riots nearly ensued when Winnie, during the last few days of her operation dared to offer her clientele prepackaged jelly in little plastic containers. The regulars at Winnie’s were relentless in their pursuit of her goat. Visible on the milk cooler the second to last day of business was a mock notice from Governor Carey: ‘CLOSED BY THE BOARD OF HEALTH’ . This was typical of the pranks pulled on her. She recalls returning, after a short vacation, to find "SOLD" signs on the diner, and upon entering found the counter stacked with empty beer and liquor bottles. Another time; a customer hung doughnuts on the telephone pole outside her diner.
Winnie, who often had the tongue of a Tugboat Annie with her customers, is really a kind and gentle soul. She demonstrated this by sometimes going to the length of chasing customers out into the street after a nasty exchange of insults which delighted the others, Her musical talents are limitless. She often burst into a rendition of ‘ O Solo Mio’ to which she knew exactly three words: O Solo Mio. Over the years,Winnie managed to make friends with neighboring businesses. When the laundromat operated across the street she used to babysit kids while parents did their laundry. Vic Blood has stored "things" for Winnie for years. In exchange, she acted as receiving clerk for Vic in his absence. There was also a close working relationship between the Wiss Hotel and the diner. Winnie made meals for the Hotel residents, while her customers were supplied with restroom facilities by the Wiss. Winnie plans to stay right here, in LeRoy, her home. Now she won’t have to go to bed at 8:00p.m. every night. She will have more time to spend with her three children, eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her daughter Carol says ‘without Mom here (at the diner) there is no reason for me to hang around.’ LeRoyan’s will miss Winnie’s Diner. Fortunately, Winnie will still be around to pick on her old friends, even if they are eating someplace else these days.
After 30 years of preparing breakfasts for her customers/friends, Winnie Hameister has hung the 'Closed' sign on Winnies Diner for the last time. The railroad-car styled diner was crafted by Ward & Dickinson of Silver Creek, and nestled in its present location in 1925. The decades have not been awfully kind to it. It looks its age, wearing the burden of several dozen coats of paint, sagging here and there; a true relic of days gone by; a set prop from an old Cagney gangster flick. Only those familiar with what treasures lay inside made the daily pilgrimage to breakfast there with Winnie, the matriarch of breakfast business in LeRoy for the past thirty years, because it was the experience of being there that drew them. It had become a tradition to so many of the ‘ faithfuls’ to share a spell of time in the morning with the outrageous wit and shenanigans of Winnie, that last weeks grand finale, despite all outward appearances of ‘ business as usual’, reflected a web of sadness. Memories are all that will be left, as Winnie, sporting all of a young 68 years, retires to a more mundane and sane daily existance at her Genesee St. residence. She will no longer be up at 2:00 a.m. to bake bread and prepare for the morning onslaught of customers. She used to open the diner’s doors at 4:00 am. early enough to allow the milkmen to have their first cup of coffee of the day. This was her routine for years too many to remember- a routine that she developed into a veritable show. Her customers came to her for vittles and insults. And over the years it developed into ever so many wars of words; incessant uproarious repartee was on the menu right along with scrambled eggs and toast.

The Demise Of The Diner
by Weegie Pratt

Photo and caption by Weegie Don Pangrazio, owner of The Wiss Hotel and The Diner, points to one of the original wooden wheels that carried The Diner to the spot where it has stood for nearly 80 years.
APRIL 15, 2002 - To some people it was an eyesore. To others it was a piece of history and the object of nostalgia. Whatever feelings it evoked were swept away by Jerry Call and his John Deere excavator last Friday. First to go was the sagging American Chestnut wood ceiling, followed by the black slate counters and chrome stools. The large beams in the floor, reinforced with steel bars took a little longer. The space where The Diner stood didn't seem large enough to have fed so many and left so many memories.
Bud Conlon says he remembers the day The Diner came to town in 1924. It was drawn by a team of horses from Silver Creek. The original mobile diner was created in 1872 by Walter Scott of Providence, Rhode Island. He converted a horse drawn freight wagon and started a new industry. Warden Dickinson of Silver Creek built Le Roy's Diner in 1923. It was said to be one of the two such diners left.
Winnie Hamister was proprietor of The Diner for thirty years. She paid $30.00 a month rent. Now 88 and just as peppery as ever, told several stories of Diner life. One was about a very large customer who "got mouthy" and was requested by Winnie to leave - permanently. He challenged her with a "make me" and so she did, throwing him out the door with what was probably an early form of karate.
There were lots of jokes played on both the customer and Winnie. A group of four men from the Southern Tier came in every morning. "Nice boys, they were," she said. One day they came in with several sacks of groceries for her. When she looked in the bags she found that all the items were groceries stolen from her. Why you blank, blank, blank, she said, in colorful diner language. Not seeing it as a joke Winnie called the police, but all ended well after lots of explanations.
Winnie got up every morning at 4:00 a.m. to open The Diner and make fried cakes. Customers said they could smell the delicious donuts miles away. The outside of The Diner began to weather, but Winnie put a fresh coat of paint and new curtains on the inside every year. Jake Lathan says he remembers that in 1948 he mopped the floor every day before school at St. Peter's.
Winnie walked to work in the early morning dark and caused the police concern as to her safety. They suggested she take a better lighted street, watched her walk and finally just gave her a ride every morning. She says, "Really, everyone was very good to me." When Winnie left The Diner for the last time, she just tucked her purse under her arm and walked out the door.
Several people came up with names of some of The Diner's proprietors, Anna Morrison was there during World War II. Jimmy and Mary Sweet and Paul Conklin followed Winnie. There were more, they seem to be lost to time.
Don Pangrazio said he wanted to thank Mayor Sid Horgan, the Village Board, the Town Board and Mr. Sinclair, Code Enforcement Officer for their patience. Don had correspondence from the American Diner Museum in Providence, Rhode Island who were "Concerned about the continued destruction of the uniquely American roadside landmarks." Don had hoped the Museum would be able to take The Diner before it was too late.


Old Times At The Sterling Diner
Caption by Mary Fee

JUNE 17, 2002 - This picture was taken 4/22/48. Louis Mampe, owner of the Sterling Diner, which was located where McDonald's Restaurant is now, used to have a party every year to celebrate his birthday and invited many Le Royans. Edith MacGregor of Cole Road, Louis' granddaughter, remembers coming downstairs the morning after the party, to find that, "all that was left were the bones." There were many local officials, policemen and businessmen in attendance at these parties. The Sterling Diner was in operation until 1969. Standing left to right - W. Sidney Horgan, Fred J. Rider, Jr., Norman Dingwall, F. Harold Kerwin, John M. Maloy, Louis O. Mampe, (proprietor of Sterling Diner 1941-1952), Louis P. Brady, Jr., Joseph A. Miller, Joseph A. Lapp, Anthony O'Geen, Henry F. Zimmerman, John N. Alex, Calvin A. Lathan, Edward R. Blood, Robert W. Metcalf and (unknown). Seated left to right - Oswald "Ozzie" Mampe, Alfred L. Messore, Emmett R. Keenan, John A. Green, Harold D. Anchor and W. Fred Ashley.

One more diner called Le Roy home.  A Rochester Grill was moved just west of town to an area known as the Grove.  It was run there for a short time before being moved into town and attached to a house.  There, it became known as the Sterling Diner.  The name initially confused us, until we found a newspaper article that connected the dots and proved that this diner was a Rochester Grills.

[opening at the Grove, file corrupted. Pdf would not focus or allow itself to be copied via the curser.]

5/14/1942 - New Bertha Stoner Diner Opens Today The new combined diner and restaurant of Mrs. Bertha Stoner is opening for business today at 57 Main street with service starting at 6 o’clock. The car ideally joins the building on the property in which additional booths and dining rooms are readily accessible. Both the building and diner have been completely redecorated and make a pleasing appearance.  During the past six years Mrs. Stoner operated her dining car at the Grove on West Main street during which time she has established a reputation for unusually fine grill and meal service.

this is the site of McDonalds, as of 2010s.

Orleans County

Albion -

In August 1926, Ward and Dickinson diner #75 came to Albion.  The diner was first sold to Lionel Dennis, the son in law of George Dickinson (Little Dick from Silver Creek he was affectionately known as) who ran diners in a number of towns, including Brocton and Newark.  Dennis did not last long with this diner, by February of 1927, Harry and Lottie Fish took over the diner, but they too did not last long.  George Dickinson came in and started running a successful diner.   But here is where things get a tad confusing.   When he bought Ward and Dickinson diner #233 in 1930 part of sale was also car #126. Where was car #126?  From other numbers that I have, car #126 must have been sold in 1927.  Also the local newspaper seems to point at a new diner around Jan 1929. Maybe there was just some nice shrubbery put in? George Dickinson ran the diner until around 1940 and it was sold to William M Chatfield.  Chatfield still had the diner in the early 1950s.

There was also a Liberty Dining Car in Albion.  This was located at 131 Main. John A Donahue ran it in 1930. George N Root Sr ran it around 1933, 1934 and he was later joined by Fritz Bergman.  The diner was still there in 1941 when a Sanborne map was drawn.

There was also another lunch car in town. Aug 29, 1928 - Elmer McLean, who some months ago sold his lunch car at the trollet station and went to Rochester, returned to Albion several weeks ago and a few days ago purchased the Youngs bakery...." - Albion Republican.

Medina -

Ward and Dickinson diner #99 was in Medina.  It is one of the first Ward and Dickinson diners with an overhang on the end roof.  This has been a way I can differentiate between the 1-100 diners and newer diners.
George Dickinson probably ran this diner for the first half of 1927, if not, the diner sat empty for over half a year until Chas E and Marie Kengott traded their Amsterdam, New York diner for this one.  They ran this diner for just under a year when the diner was bought byHenry Benkleman who ran the diner for maybe half a year.  William Denson would get the ball rolling with ownership from January 1929 up until around 1938. Harold and Gertrude Wilde would run the diner for roughly 30 years. Harold passed away in 1969 and Gertrude carried on for a couple more years before selling to Lawrence and Dorothy Manion who ran the diner for a couple of years.  Helen Dercqu would run the diner for roughly ten years before the diner ended its saga in Medina.

Wyoming County

Attica -

10/4/1928 - Gordon Cowles partner with Clarence Stroh at diner next to Telephone building

1930 Clarence Stroh - Club Dining Car

8/17/1933 - Clarence Stroh, prop of Liberty Diner added cozy dining room at back of lunch car - Warsaw paper

12/12/1935 - Mrs Alica Pierce Siller, wife of Frank L. Siler, prop of Liberty Diner passed away. They bought diner last July

1936 - Frank L. Siller - for sale

10-26-1939 - Ellsworth Burns owner, Fred Judd prop - Warsaw paper

Warsaw -

?? Waldo Coburn placed new lunch wagon at Main @ Covington Tuesday

10/31/1902 - Louis Hammond purchased Waldo Coburn's lunch wagon at Main @ Genesee

10/9/1903 - clayton Crane & Alber DeVinney bought Bert Phillips lunch wagon at Main @ Genesee

11/18/1903 - Crane & DeVinney moved all night lunch car from Genesee Street to west side of Cushen's Store on Buffalo Street.

12/09/1903 - lunch wagon to move into part of Newmarket Hotel bulding

1927 - Len Wheeler had a lunch car in Warsaw & Dansville - Picket Line Post

3/5/1933 - Minute Diner

May 1924 - Two men from Dunkirk and Silver Creek were in town and want to put a lunch car by Theatre. Huer & Bock.  This was a Richardson Lunch Car.

12/18/1924 small fire in lunch car

10/21/1926 - H.H. Huer moved his palance of eats 8 feet back from sidewalk and will cement space and plans to erect an electric sign.

11/2/1926 fire in lunch car

11/11/1926 - lunch car on South Main considerably damaged by fire, west side charred and replaced.

April 1927 - lunch car on South Main had small addition for summer kitchen and two table dining room.

7/28/1927- H.H. Huer sold lunch car to Mr & Mrs Harry Gless of Jamestown and Mrs Elizabeth Farley of LeRoy. Huer is moving to Rochester.

9/15/1927 - Alvin Matteson, night chef, shot at in lunch car by a mysterious shooter.

June 1931 - Blue Bird Lunch Car for sale on Main St.

10/22/1931 - Bluebird Lunch car on South Main St sold to Mr. Jess Ballard by Mrs. Elizabeth Farley.

July 1933 - Plot for new post office approved. On the lot is a lunch car.

9/28/1933 - lunch car on Main Street next to Farman Theatre reopened by "Bosh" Jones and Mrs Farley. known as Main Diner.

March 1934 - lunch car to be moved.

1931 - Abe Shapiro bought a used lunch car and fixed it up at his residence. He placed it across from Wyoming County Community Hospital. The lunch car was objected due to the possible smell for residents viewing diner who want to open windows. Shapiro had first hamburger delivered to hospital director on 8/18/31

8/20/1931 - Warsaw Diner finally opened by Abe Shapiro. Joseph O'Brien has leased the diner. Interior has monel metal and linoleum.

6/7/1934 - Lunch car on Buffalo Street is having an addition on southwest corner.

May 1940 C.O. Gallett bought lunch car on Buffalo St. across from hospital and is opening it as soon as renovations and redecorating are finished. - Castile Castilian listed as prop in June 1940

1940-1943 Mrs Grover Morgan was running the diner.

3/22/1945 - Abe Shapiro sells lunch car to Grover W. Morgan.

12/1/1945 - Miss Katherine and Harlan Durfee purchased Warsaw Diner from Ida Morgan

3/13/1947 - Christian Ebersole purchased lunch car in Warsaw

April, 1948 - Lunch car for sale, only in town.

1959 - Mrs E.E. Strathern has a lunch car on Main Street

12/12/1963 - former Warsaw Diner on West Buffalo St taken down last week

Perry -

11/7/1902 - Lewis Hammond of Warsaw has purchased the night lunch wagon of Waldo Coburn of Perry - Castile paper

2/18/38 - Joseph D'Imperio opened new diner in Main St. across from Perry Knitting Company plant yesterday - Picket Line Post unverified

Estelle Howard's Ward and Dickinson diner #54 came from Le Roy, New York in December 1932.

1940 - "Howard's Diner, "the only diner in Perry." Castile paper

5/3/40 - Mrs. Estella Howard will discontinue her lunch car at Perry and move it to a location at jct 20/36 about two miles north of York - Mt. Morris Picket Line Post

7/12/51 - Ad for dining car in downtown for sale $3,500 - Penn Yan Democrat

Ward and Dickinson diner #41 came to Perry after being in Avon, New York. Ernest Lindsay put it at 25 Borden St. in August of 1946 and ran it until the end of 1951 when it was sold to Jim and Pearl Rice.  The diner was dismantled in August 1957.

Cattaraugus County -

12/27/46 - A.W. Fitzinger, real estate agent, selling a dining car on Route 17 for $20,000 - Salamanca paper

1/3/36 - Airport Diner in Hinsdale destroyed by fire. owned by Miss Margaret Strait of Cuba. unverified - Salamanca paper

10/38 - Fransis Bruke owned Burke's Diner on Olean Portville Rd. - Salamanca paper

Salamanca -

11/05 - Bert Packard & Will Gilbards leased the lunch wagon on Main Street near river bridge. Opens November 13 - Salamanca paper

1/06 - Elmer Morse sold interest in lunch wagon to former partner William French - Salamanca paper

2/10/20 - H.C. Brydon sold Chautauqua Lunch Car to Mrs. Jennie Tallman

7/21 - Ed Comerford of Medina bought lunch car on Erie Station grounds from Mrs. Bloomquist of Jamestown. "Ed's Lunch Car". Previously called "Chautauqua Lunch Car"

Edward Comerford had a lunch wagon at 137 North Main in 1922

7/22 - Edward Comerford, proprietor of lunch wagon on Erie R/R grounds had his lease canceled - Salamanca paper

1/21/24 - Thomas Gimbas lunch car fire -

11 Church St - sounds like a Closson

5/23 - J.L. Haley owned lunch car

1923 - Edward L & Edna Comerford

11/23 - Lunch car on Church Street has been repainted and opened under new management. -

12/27/26 - Charles B. Treadwell who ran Church Street lunch car for the past three years passed away.

1929 - 1931 - Jennie A. Tallman

10 Broad to 2 Main after 1929 - probably built by Richardson

9/12/24 - Montford Fox and Lloyd Blanding have purchased a lunch car. - Grape Belt

10/3/24 - Fox & Blanding to Salamanca Monday to run lunch car. - Grape Belt

12/4/24 - Montford Fox has sold his interest in the lunch car in Salamanca to his partner, Lloyd Blanding, and returned to Silver Creek. - Silver Creek Times

11/3/33 - Walter W. Knorr & Frank E. Myers have purchased Blanding's Dining Car. Clinton & Main Streets in Salamanca and Mrs. Knorr & Mrs. Myers took charge of it Wednesday for the first time. Mr. & Mrs. Llyod Blanding are going to Watertown to take charge of a larger dining car there. They have been in that city for nine years and have built up a substantial dining car business." - Randolph Recorder

12/7/33 - management of Blanding Dining Car at Main & Clinton by B.D. Sheldon and Georgiamay Hoffler Smith - Salamanca paper

1936 - Thomas F. Dunn

11/18/37 - Edward Maley lunch car hit by car. Door damaged - Salamanca paper

1939 - George H. Hibbard

6/3/41 Ralph Steele operated Hibbard Diner for past year

7/12/45 - diner at Main & Clinton purchased by Edith Oakes of Franklinville from George Hibbard, to be called Oakes Diner - Salamanca paper. Opening August 6.

14 Wildwood - This was a Rochester Grills diner.

1941 - George R. Caldberg - The Main Diner

1953 - 1957 Angelo Spiros

1964 - E.C. Babcock & Eleanor Williams - Wildwood Diner

Franklinville - 

From Joan Wilson - "Franklinville Centennial Publication" page 50 -

"In 1930, A Dickinson Dining Car was set up on the west side of South Main St, on the second lot south of the corner drugstore building. A few months later it was moved across the street where it remained until the late 1960s."

6/30/31 - "Mrs. Hilda Westman, commonly known as "mother" to the patrons of the Franklin Club Diner, died at Salamanca Hospital, Tuesday 6/7/33 .. one daughter Margaret Cameron. The latter has been associated with her mother in the lunch car business here for several years." - Chronicle Journal

George & Hazel Hibbard had the diner from 1934 to 1945.

Clarence L. "Barney" Harrison bought the diner from the Hibbards on 9/19/45

Catherine Gaetano who was Barney's daughter supplied pictures. exterior 3/1947, Clarence Harrison Jr., Catherine Harrison,exterior 6/1950, exterior 2/10/58

Olean - 

6/17/1895 -  Olean is getting more metropolitan daily. The latest is a lunch wagon which it is expected will soon be seen on the streets. The representative of a company that runs the wagons in several cities was here a few days ago to secure the privilege and make arrangements. The wagons are a feature of life in the large cities. They are as large as a moving van and resembled a restaurant on wheels more than anything else. Ten or a dozen different kinds of sandwiches, pies, tea, coffee and milk are the staple of the trade.

1909 Sanborne Map - Lunch Wagon at 1123 1/2 North Union.

1934 - Leo's Diner - Leo R. Dombow - 508 West State

4/8/35 - John Ferris lunch wagon on Main Street.- Olean paper

2/26 - Carmelo Fieri proprietor of lunch wagon at West State & First.- Olean paper

4/16/1899 - C.J. Miles purchased lunch wagon of S. Austin - Olean paper

9/18/01 - The new lunch wagon of C. J. Miles arrived here from Buffalo. - Olean paper

12/30 Miles lunch wagon slightly damaged by fire.- Olean paper

1937 - Article & Picture of "Crab" Miles lunch wagon. - Olean Times Herald

9/24/24 - Lunch Wagon on north side of West State between North Union and North First will remain until a formal complaint is made.- Olean paper

3/6/29 - Charles Gonoung lunch car at 250 North Union St for 26 years was asked to vacate.- Olean paper

200 Main St.

3/34 - Mary Ferris proprietor

1952 - Ann's Lunch Car - Chas Williams

417 State St. - Mulholland - State Diner

4/6/1925 - 1938 - Clement S. Gillson

1940 - 1945 - Walter C. Gillson

1946 - Joseph Magnano

1947 - 1948 - Vincent DiMaria & Michael DiTallo

8/10/49 - diner at auction.- Olean paper

1950 - 1953 - Harold Myers

1954+ Jesse A. & Dorothy Marino - Jesse's Diner

closed 1971

2/8/72 - "Those were the days" Olean Times Herald

- SHED TEARS — W.C. (Wally) Gillson, 822 Bishop St, wiped eyes which turned moist, Monday as wreckers tore apart the old State Diner at 419 W. State St. The diner and kitchens behind were torn down for Don Adams Inc., whose manager, William Dascomb, purchased the land occupied by the Adams auto parts business, diner and Joey's Barbershop. Mr. Gillson, who operated the diner for many years after it was installed at that site in 1918[incorrect], was salesman for the Mulholland Diner Co., Erie, Pa., who manufactured it. He sold, altogether, 32 of the diners.[never seen independent collaboration on this story, so...] The demolition clears a lot as wide as the diner was long (40 feet) and about 70 feet deep from the State St. sidewalk. Mr. Dascomb purchased the lot from the Mazza and Questa estate last October. The purchase made Don Adams Inc. the possessor rather the leasor of its real estate for the first time. There is no particular plan in sight for immediate redevelopment of the lot, Mr. Dascomb said.

  SURPRISE! - As the old State Street Diner was dismantled, Monday, four massive wheels appeared. Shown here with one of the two rear, smaller, wheels are William (Bill) Dascomb and W.C. (Wally) Gillson, shortly after the wheels were uncovered for the first time in their 54 years. Gillson, who sold diners for the Mulholland Diner co. Erie, Penna,said the diner had been shipped on its massive undercarriage and wheels, loaded on a flatcar of the Erie Railroad. The heavy 40-foot wagon base formed the floor of the diner and was enclosed "permanently" when the diner was installed in 1918. Mr. Dascomb said he would salvage one or more of the wheels to keep as a rather large-scale souvenir. An antique car buff, Mr. Dascomb noted that Mulholland originally had manufactured buggies, switching to diners as auto manufacture made them obsolete. The diner, he said, was mounted on huge ''double elyptical" springs with 25 leaves in each frame.

2/10/1972 - By BOB SCHNETTLER Nostalgia seems to be the current rage about the country as revivals of items from the 20's and 30's are brought back daily. But nostalgia of another type swept Olean Monday as a wrecking crew began demolishing the former State Diner at 421 W. State St Thousands of memories were stirred for W.C. (Wally) Gillson, operator of the diner for 21 years back in the days when dining car, short-order eating facilities were the staple of the restaurant trade. Mr. Gillson's parents, Clem and Bessie Gillson, opened the State Diner's doors on April 6, 1925 after the 40-foot long dining car had been purchased from the Mulholland Dining Car Corp. of Dunkirk. Wheels and undercarriage still intact, it was placed on the site it was to occupy until wreckers moved in Monday. Mr. Gillson had secured an option on the property from the Mazza estate, along with another next to the old police station on N. Union St. — which never was used. In those days, the younger Gillson was employed by Mulhollands, seeking out properties he felt were profitable sites for restaurants, getting diners installed and businesses started. His parents, along with his grandmother, Anna Adams, decided on the Olean site and swung open doors which were destined to be opened 24 hours a day, seven days a week until World War II intervened. Utilizing skills developed while cooking for such personages as P.T. Barnum in Rochester, the elder Gillsons found instant recognition. Their meals, topped off with a piece of one of the 70 to 110 pies baked daily, became instant smashes. "It was not unusual, in later years, for us to record 1,100 sales a day on the cash register," Wally states. That was in the days of five cent coffee, 10 cent hamburgers and pie. Wally joined his family in 1929 and in 1936 bought out his dad's interest, continuing to dispense the meals to which a multitude of customers had become accustomed. He continued seven-day-a-week operations until the war and its subsequent rationing caused doors to be closed Wednesdays and nights from about 11 p.m. When originally opened, the diner seated 16 persons, 12 at the counter and two each in booths at either end over the wheels. A short time later, a dining room addition was felt necessary, and in another year the crowds had become so great that two additional dining rooms were added into the house portion of the building just west of the diner. Seating capacity was boosted to 122, with 26 persons working in three eight-hour shifts to handle the crowds. Wally sold the diner in 1946 to Joseph Magnano, but the war had altered eating habits of many and it never seemed to attain the heights it once had reached. It has been leased and operated by many persons since that time, closing the last time about a year ago. Memories of the customers and employes abound in Wally's remembrances of the diner. "I once unknowingly hired a murderer," he recalls, telling of a pleasant, good-looking young man who later died in the gas chamber in Texas after killing a second person. Or he remembers the hiring of "the fastest short-order cook my dad and I had ever seen," who later abscounded with the days receipts only to be caught years later in New Jersey. Then there was the night an 11-cylinder Cadillac pulled up and three of five coonskincoated men came in and ordered steak dinners while the other two stayed in the car. After finishing the meal, the three returned to the car and the other two came in to eat. All according to Wally, wore shoulder holsters and pistols under their suitcoats. His fears of having some of the many police who found the diner a coffee haven arriving while the hoodlums were eating were allayed when the quintet departed, leaving behind a $10 tip for himself and his assistant. The diner site has been purchased for future use by Don Adams, Inc

322 West State (1930-193?) to 240 N. Union - Modern

9/24/30 - State Grill, E.A. Pickup will open Saturday at 322 West State. Mr. Pickup had similar operation in Batavia for year and half.- Olean paper

8/13/32 - State Grill closes next Monday August 8th to move from 322 West State to 244 North Union. Plans to reopen August 13th.- Olean paper

8/19/32 - Openig Day Ad with drawing of diner- Olean Times Herald

10/26/37 - diner moved again.- Olean paper

1930 - 1954+ - Estes Pickup

6/11/1954 - (25 year anniversary ad) Restaurant was founded by Estes Pickup Sr. in August 1929 at 322 West State Street, At that time four persons were employed, three during the day and one at night. In August 1932, the restaurant (which was a dining car), moved to the site now occupied by the new addition of Montgomery Ward's store.. In 1932 seven persons were employed in the restaurant. Pickup's Restaurant moved to the present location at 242 North Union Street in November 1937 and at the same time a new, modem air condtioned dining room was added to accomodate their fast growing clientele. The seating capacity of the restaurant today is 100 persons and has grown to such an extent that as many as twenty persons are employed during the peak seasons. Pickup's Restaurant has built a reputation over these past 25 years for serving the best in home cooked foods and wish to thank their many friends and customers for the part they hold in making these years successful ones. Their sincere hope is to make more friends in the years ahead

 need date Ad for 1954 Sesqui-centennial. - Estes Pickup Sr. although born in Springville, New York was raised and educated in Little Valley, New York and came to Olean in 1917. For three years he worked as watchmaker and engraver for Otto Miller and Son, Jewelers. In 1920 Mr. Pickup purchased a grocery store at 649 East State Street which he operated until he become interested in the manufacture of Dining Cars in Dunkirk, New York, at which time he had in operation dining cars in Batavia and East Aurora. In 1929 he purchased a dining car in Brooklyn, New York which was moved, by flat car, to 322 W est State Street, Olean. This diner was called the State Grille (and incidentally is part of the restaurant today). At that time only four persons were employed, three during the day and one at night. In 1932 the Diner was moved to the site now occupied by the addition of Montgomery Ward's store and an annex built on the south side of the diner. Seven persons were then employedIn November 1937 Pickep's Restaurant was moved to its present location ah 242 North Union Street and a new, modern air-conditioned (dining room was added to accommodate their fast growing clientelle. The seating capacity of the restaurant today is 100 persons and during the peak seasons as many as twenty persons are employed.  In September 1945, Frederick L. Jenks came to Olean from Buffalo to assume management of the restaurant. In September 1947, after being discharged from military service, Estes Pickup Jr became part of the management. During those past 25 years, Pickups Restaurant has built a reputation for serving the very best in foods.

Photo - postcard

602 W. State St - Rochester Grills

1940 - Everett W. Davis - Davis's Dandy Diner

1945 : 1950 - 1952 - Lawrence R. & Jason P. McGraw - McGraw's Diner

1947 - Alex J. Sczesny - Dandy Diner

1953 - 1955 - Donald J. Sanzo & Louis H. Pelow - Louden Diner

1956 - Gus Sinesiou & Francis J. Pezzimenti - Olean Diner & Tap Room

Photo - Postcard

404 West State St - Lincoln Diner

Ward and Dickinson - If this was not a used diner, it was built similar to one of the first 100 diners.  Research needs to be done at Olean City Hall.

1936 - 1955+ - Leo W. Russell + Jason A. Pratt in 1945

5/1/1977 - Russell and Mary Farnham

11/24/1978 - ByBOBSCHNETTLER Flames said to have begun in a grille duct destroyed the Lincoln Diner at 404 W. State St., early today, but firefighters were able to save the two buildings which hemmed it. in from either side. The structure housing Bender & Riggs furniture store and apartments, and another which housed a hairdressing shop on the first floor and doctor's office on the second, sustained smoke and water damage. Fire was discovered minutes before 3 a.m. by David Farnham and Clara Graham, restaurant employees. Ms. Graham told firefighters she heard a roaring in the chimney and felt heat from the duct between the counter and kitchen as she passed. Mr. Farnham, son of owners Russell and Mary Farnham said he opened the duct to check, and it collapsed. According to Fire Lt. John Gibbon, Mr. Farnham warned the eight or nine customers to get out, just as a passerby rushed in to inform him flames were shooting from the chimney. Fire Capt. Larry Young said a call from Ms. Graham at 2:59 advised him, "Hurry, we have a fire in the kitchen." He said that before the fire truck covered the three blocks between the firehouse and diner, flames were shooting through the roof. THE SNORKEL platform was immediately elevated above the blaze and is credited with saving the buildings on either side. Flames were brought under control in about an hour, with initial pickup starting about 4:15a.m. Overtime firefighters summoned to the scene were released from duty shortly thereafter, but a crew headed by Capt. Young remained on the scene until almost 7 o'clock. The only injury reported during the battle was to Firefighter Paul Connelly, suffering smoke inhalation, who was treated at the scene and remained on duty. Lt. Gibbon said a preliminary investigation revealed that although there were newly purchased flame arresters in the vent, they were undersized, thereby not doing the job for which they were purchased. He estimated the loss at about $60,000. MR. AND MRS. FARNHAM had purchased the business last May 1 and had been making improvements to the equipment and building since then. Mr. Farnham said a new stove and grilles had recently been installed. Although the diner was insured, he did not feel it would cover the loss. The owner stated he would like to rebuild on the same site, but would have to await the insurance outcome before making a final determination. The Farnhams had closed the business for Thanksgiving, reopening only about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. The small, single-story diner had been operational for about 50 years under various owners. It seated about 45. Allegany volunteer firemen stood by at No. 1 firehouse. A light drizzle fell throughout most of the blaze battle as the temperature hovered about 40 degrees.

1619 West State St. - Trolley Shaped

1930 - Mrs. Julia B. Dorland - West End Lunch Car

West State Beyond Limits - Paul's Diner - O'Mahony

1956 - Paul M. Psathas

8/11/1955 - A Stainless steel diner, trucked to Olean from New Jersey,  was being moved into position on the Olean-Allegany Rd, Wedneday Afternoon. showed photo with diner on cribbing.

11/13/1971 - From a beginning at its present location 16 years ago with nothing more than a small diner, Paul’s on W. State Rd., Town of Allegany, has expanded into a thriving business demanding seven-day a week attention of owners Paul and Mary Psathas ... From 1950 to 1958, the couple operated a small restaurant next to Olean’s uptown Montgomery Ward store. Wishing to spread out in 1955, they opened a dining car restaurant on the present site of the steak house, and from 1957 to 1960 spread even further by also operating the State Diner on W. State St., during which time they used the dining car as headquarters and commisary for servicing their other eateries. But being spread in two or three locations proved too tiring, time consuming and involved, so in 1960 other interests were divested and a single-story steak house was added to the headquarters diner. Business proved so good that as soon as 1962 an. upper story was added, with growth having continued to the present day. ... Although removed in 1967 when a remodeled, thoroughly modern coffee shop was constructed, the original dining car still sits behind the restaurant. It has been sold, but not removed, Mary and Paul point out, noting it is to go to the Portville area.... PAUL ALSO learned to cook while serving under his father, but despite his long experience does not feel it provides a future for young people today. “The hours and working conditions are terrible, but are necessary if you are to be successful. If a young man came to me today and said he wanted to be a chef, I'd tell him to go on, go find a better business.

Photo - postcard

5/8/1959 - JOHN J. MORTON J. Corwin "Crab" Miles. one time alderman was better known as the "Midnight Mayor of Olean." Most present day residents would have to be about the age of 40 to remember him. He, and his then familiar horsedrawn wagon, disappeared from Olean's busy night life scene Christmas Eve, Dec. 24,1937. The hmch wagon, with "Crab" as proprietor, graced the North Union Street side of the old city building 41 years, at Times Square. In the days of the gas tight, the city's lending public citizens and politicians discussed there any and all subjects that might pertain to operation of city government. Those tales, informal, of course, were debated and reviewed over Mr. Miles popular hamburger with onion, coffee or milk, and no doubt a generous wedge of Mr. Mies delicious home made apple pie.

THE WAGON was the "last stand" for those stay-up-at-night Olean residents, who entered it from seven o'dock until the wee hours of morning. There was always brisk conversation as to what was going on in the city at the time. Between mouthfuls of a tasty sandwich, and a warming cup of coffee, the interested and silent patron might possibly hear, if so inclined, warm debate on who would become the Democratic or Republican candidate for mayor. There might akso be talk of the choices for ward alderman or ward supervisor. The informal talks broke up many a monotonous night, from the turn of the present century to more than a period of 40 years.

AFTER TWO YEARS in the employ of Wiftiam "Stix" Austin, founder of the lunch wagon business here. Mr. Miles purchased the entire equipment in 1899. From then on he was a familiar figure at the city building each night from the next 39 years. The wagon was a white one with fancy white and colored picture windows. The colored ones were brown, red and purple. Mr. Miles purchased his wagon at the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo in 1901. It was about the last of its kind in existence. A similar lunch car, once on display at the Buffalo exposition has found haven at the Ford Exhibit at Dearborn, Mich.

DURING DAYLIGHT hours the car was kept at the Miles home, 215 Adams St., being moved there about 8 a.m. After a thorough cleaning, it was replenished with good food for the night trade. Regularly, about 5 pm., a team of horses returned the car to its business site. There it remained for the night. Many a tale it could tell. if permitted to relate its experiences. It was once portrayed by the late Robert Ripley. noted cartoonist in his "Believe It or Not" panel as the lunch wagon in the country still drawn by horses.

ABOUT 1936. motive power replaced the horses. The wagon during the later stages of its exigence was transported behind a gasoline - powered truck. For years the car was the only restaurant opened in the city at night. On two occasions, it was quite badly damaged. Both times, teams drawing it became frightened and ran away . On each occasions hungry patrons went without their uptown night snack for about two weeks.

THE STORY has been told that in Mr. Miles first years of operation, a well - trained horse was the means of transporting the wagon. The particuiar animal was so well trained it would be harnessed in the stable of its owner, the Late "Jack" Reese on N. Union St. Ready for business of the day it would wend its way unattended, to the home of Mr. Miles, then on Tompkins Street. There it would be attached to the lunch car and driven to the old city building by Mr. Miles. Unhitched, the horse would amble to a water trough, then on Times Square. After a satisfying drink, it would make its own way back to the Reese stable.

THERE ARE many present Olean residents, now passed the half century mark, who will recall without much prompting, lunching at the lunch car. They, too, if in reminiscent moods probably wfll relate for a younger generation, many interesting things experienced while in an easy, restful moment, consuming a tasty hamburger and onion with coffee. Crab, "And dont forget a large slab of that apple pie topped with a liberal slice of cheese, of course."

Yorkshire -

12/24/37 - Green & White Diner Christmas Greetings from owners, Bess & Albert Schweizer - Arcade Herald

There were two diners at Webber's Corners/Yorkshire. They were across the street from each other. During the rationing times of WW2 they even collaborated and one would close while the other was open for a day or two during the week.

2/13/1982 - YORKSHIRE - Mickey's Diner, a landmark at Yorkshire Corners, was sold to Eric H. Bowen of Orchard Park early this month. Mr. Bowen purchased the restaurant from Mildred "Mickey" Schaper and her partners, Ronald and Marge George. The three partners still retain ownership of the Yorkshire Inn, located about two miles south of the diner on Rt. 16. EARLY OWNERS, the late Mr. and Mrs. Carl Kraft of Sandusky, operated the establishment as a lunch car. Mrs. Schaper worked for the next owners, the late Orval Eddy and his wife, Vera Eddy of Arcade, for two years before purchasing the diner in 1944. As business increased by 1945, a dining room was added, holding eight tables. The business operated 24 hours-a-day until 1965. In 1967 a new diner was added to the front of the building. That same year, Ronald and Marge George of Machias became partners in the business. Mrs. Schaper's mother, Mrs. Mayme Vance, baked pies at the diner for 25 years and assisted in raising the three Schaper children. "Without her I would never have made it," Mrs. Schaper said. Another long-time employee, Mrs. Dorothy Stangl of Yorkshire, served as cook for many years and continues in that capacity two days a weekMrs. Schaper retired in August 1981. "I wish to thank all the people who have patronized the diner; also, my employees and parters and all who helped make the diner a success," Mrs. Schaper said. Mr. Bowen said he plans to continue the "same fine quality of food and service at the diner," and also to retain the current staff of 35 full and parttime employees. Mr. George was appointed manager. The diner is open seven days a week, 5a.m.-l0p.m.

Allegany -

8/21/14 - Mr. Marian moved lunch wagon to Colligan lot near McCabe's Bakery - Olean paper

Possible Diner at 71 West Main St. (1938 Sanborne map)

1934 - 1945 - Max R. Blair & Mrs. Gertrude Johns - Radiant Diner

1947+ - Mrs. Mary Lauser - Radiant Diner

onsite diner at 102 West Main known as Cook's Diner

Cattaraugus -

S. H. Brown - Ward & Dickinson # 16 - 7/27/25 to 1/25/26

sold back to Ward & Dickinson and moved to Williamsville.

Randolph -

91 Main St. - ca 1932 to 1948 explosion/fire (see blurbs, erase this when found)  This was probably a Sharpe built diner, it was barrel roofed.

1932 - Akin's Dining Car - Christmas Advertisement

1933 - Randolph Diner - A.C. Jenson

Samuel Abbott owned car in 1940s, also owned diner in Bolivar

diner closed for the war, reopening had large advertisement

1/23/47 Explosion of heating stove destroyed interior of Sammy's Diner, damage estimated at $20,000. Harry Peterson, manager, received 1st degree burns. - Dunkirk Observer

Steamburg -

1937 - Steamburg Lunch Car

1/10/39 - Roy Ellison, proprietor of furniture store at rural junction west of Olean had a fire, included dining car. - Salamanca paper : most likely Seneca Junction - Olean paper

Allegany County -

Wellsville -

Lunch Wagon at 97 N. Main

Frank A. Palmiter 1905

Otto W. Roth & Frank O. Williams 1907

31 South Main - W&D # 84 came from Toledo, OH then DuBois, PA

Leslie V. and Mernie Cross 6/26/30 - 1932

George F. June 1933

Wellsville Home Diner William Petri 1937-1943

Wellsville Home Diner Russell R. Frew 1953 -1956+

Pic - Online

71 North Main - W&D from Le Roy, New York, has been 100% remodeled

Gerald H. Mead + Raymond Moore 1933

Modern Diner Raymond Moore 1937-1940

Modern Diner Mrs. Dorothy Elliott 1943

Modern Diner Woodrow W. Davis + Mrs. Lela Hardy 1953

Modern Diner Woodrow W. Davis 1956

Still Standing Today

Picture - Inside diner there are pictures of original diner.

122 South Main - barrel roof diner

Cross Diner Charles P & Gertrude P McGibney 1943 - 1956

Notes from relative, David Green = "Helped Uncle Sherm open this diner. Originally on south side of S. Main St, across from Aire Free factory and Bridge, next to Hopkins lumber. Sold to waitress Gertrude. Moved to Center of Wellsville, very close to original Mernie Cross Diner. opened appx 1940"

Diner was still there in 2000, but was gone soon thereafter.

Picture - Flood picture.

The Richardson diner spent a few months in Wellsville.

10/1924 Holly Hawkins & S.B. Trask

6/9/25 - Charles Haviland has sold his lunch car at Wellsville, to Ralph Phillips who has moved the car to Bolivar, NY. - Grape Belt

Bolivar -

367 Main St.

Bolivar Dining Car Phillips & Walker 6/18/1925 - 6/12/1930

Robert Walker 1930 -

Mr. & Mrs. Cliff Day - purchased around when picture came out in Pennysaver. They remodeled diner

lasted until about 1988. In later years it was moved and attached to a bigger building and was gutted.

Pic - Myrtle Phillips of Bolivar has inside picture which was put in Pennysaver many years ago

Alfred -

There was some type of diner in Alfred.

Livingston County - 

Dansville -

Lower Main Street.

Dansville Lunch Car

Miss Fern Fullington - 1927

Upper Main Street.

Nelson Dining Car - 1927

unsure of location or relation to other two diners.

Wheeler's Dining Car. - 1926

Mt. Morris -

Possibly an authentic diner.  Vague unconfirmnig information in newspaper.

Geneseo -

Lima - 

Bixler, which came from Rochester.

Avon -

32 W. Main St.

lunch wagons. two hooked up to a house.

81 S. Park Place Ward & Dickinson #41

Kief's Diner -O.F. Kiefer 1926- died around 1940

James Sweet & Howard Roffe leased diner. - Jan 1941

5/2/46 - George Root sold what was known as Kief's Diner, located in Park Place for 20 years to George W. Studley and states diner will be removed soon - Livonia Paper

8/22/1944 - AVON  — Eighty-three hats line the walls of Ray Nichols diner his honor roll of former customers in service. The collection, which includes . every type from welder's cap to a snappy fedora, was begun March 31, 1942, when a customer dropped in to say goodbye and have a last hamburger before entering the army. I'll hold your hat white you're away." Nichols told the boy, sad the hat was hung on the wall. As others farmers, truck drivers, gas station attendants, salesmen left for service, each paid a final call to the 60-year old former farmer. Each left his hat, and now they line the entire diner an 8O-foot tribute to Nichols' boys' in service." Hatless customers left neckties. One girl, who Joined the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, contributed her scarf. Army and Navy headgear dot the wails—sent by boys who were promoted, or by some who didn't have time for a good bye" call.  Among the neckties is that of Tech. Sgt. Forrest Vesler of Livonia, Congressional Medal of Honor winner, who offered te sacrifice himself to lighten a Fortress and save the lives of his crewmates. Nicholas, justly proud of his collection, wants most to get rid of it. Says he: "I want to give those hats back to the boys who left them."

Caledonia -

Ester Hayward published a book on the history of Caledonia.

In November, 1927, Lynn Wheeler of Dansville brought the lunch car to Caledonia and set it up on the prepared property between the hardware store and the Byam Hotel.

In May 1928, the car was sold to Jack O'Hearne of Schenectady and sold again in September of 1928 to Elmer Storm who moved it during the night on two heavy trucks to the Hamilton property on the corner of North and Jane Streets. Mr. Storm had purchased the property from Mr. Rabinowtiz.

In 1929, it became the property of Thomas Callan and was moved to the west side of his West End Garage. Harlan Wall purchased and refurbished the diner and opened for business in 1930.

J.C. Stauffer bought the car and it remained at the west end of town until 1932 when it was moved back ti its original location between the hardware and the hotel.

In July 1937, Mr. Stauffer purchased the Charles Place property on the corner of State and Main Streets. He moved the lunch car down the sidewalk on State Street. He and his family occupied the house, and Mr. Stauffer and his wife, Gladys, operated the lunch car for several years, leasing it at time to Francis Greene and wife, Helen William Hickey, and others. During the mid-fifties, James and Gladys Donnelly managed the car.

James Hank became the owner in 1962 and his daughter Edith and her husband Stanley Gotowski were in charge. It was closed for a time and reopened in late 1968.

Mr. Hanks sold the property, including the diner and the house, in 1969, to the village of Caledonia and the corner was cleared to make room for the park and the entry into the Bell's Market.

Two period pictures included.

Livonia - 

6/17/37 - Hart's Lunch Car moved to old Marvin Mill Truck Factory site on South Commercial St. - Livonia Paper

10/2/44 - Mrs. Lyman Halle is manager of Livonia Diner - Livonia Paper

2/23/50 - Livonia Diner formerly owned by Murray Johnson, sold to William Dunn of Rochester - Livonia Paper

6/15/55 - William Noll took management of Livonia Diner, added flagstone front. William Ryan of Rochester is manager. - Livonia Paper