After my recent column on diners came out, I heard from Wesli AnneMarie Dymoke, a diner enthusiast and historian who lives in Rhode Island. She’s part of a loosely organized group of diner fans gathered around the facebook page Dinerville and the website Dinerville.info.
She was able to tell me when our Norwalk diners were built, which company manufactured them, and added three more to the list that are no longer active diners.
“We list seven (7) diners in Norwalk — six prefab, two closed. You can find these on our site. The Family Diner was made in 1956 by Mountain View of Singac, New Jersey. Because we know that the current Family Diner dates to 1956, we presume it replaced at least one earlier diner at or near the same site.”
“The oldest, and most threatened, is John’s, a very rare 1927 Tierney (New Rochelle, the forerunner of DeRaffele) in remarkably good condition for its age.” John’s is across Connecticut Avenue from Utopia and is closed.
“Jimmy’s is a 1930 O’Mahony (Elizabeth, N.J.).” This one is in the parking lot of the Dunkin Donuts at the corner of Main and New Canaan Avenues and has been closed for some time, but seems to be well maintained.
“The Silver Star is a 1980 Kullman (Avenel, N.J.). Penny’s III is a 1984 Swingle (Middlesex, N.J.). Post Road Diner is a 1947 Paramount (Oakland, N.J.).”
I was delighted to learn that their are diner enthusiasts doing research, getting out the word, and keeping the history and lore of diners alive.