The Pony Bar, Pony, Montana

It’s a bit of a drive out to Pony from Bozeman. B roads out through Norris and Harrison until you come upon the town, nestled in the foothills. My friends and I went a bit further, out to the Potosi campground and hot spring, a truly beautiful and secluded spot. After a night of camping, campfire cooking, and soaking in the natural hot springs, we ventured into Pony for the famed Pony Bar.

Pony was first settled in the 1860s as a gold mining town. It prospered through the early 1920s, boasting electrification before New York City, and at its peak, 5000 residents. After mining ceased being profitable, the town shrank, and in 1920, a fire swept through downtown, burning many of its buildings. By the 1950s, Pony had become a ghost town. The Pony Bar is the last operating storefront. Signs of Pony’s historic wealth are still apparent by the surviving brick structures, namely the Morris Bank.

The Pony Bar
108 Broadway St, Pony, MT 59747
ponybarmontana.com

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Bottles
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Cowboy hats and Copper mugs
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Slots and Taxidermy
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A taste of the town of Pony, Montana
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The Mint Bar – Sheridan, Wyoming

I passed through Sheridan last week on the way out to South Dakota. Unfortunately, it was on a Sunday, so the Mint, opened in 1907, was closed. It’s definitely a must stop on my next trip out that way. What a neon!

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The Mint Bar
151 N Main St, Sheridan, WY 82801
mintbarwyo.com

English Diner No. 1 – Salisbury, MD

 

Thompson’s Diner opened in 1929 at 209 East Main Street, Salisbury, Maryland. The barrel roofed diner was bought by Jack English in either 1934 or 1936, depending on the source, and was the first of what was to be a diner empire on the Eastern Shore.

According to a 1967 article in the Salisbury Daily Times, “Mr. English, a Riverton farm boy who attended business college here by hose and buggy. . . worked in canneries, for Victor Talking Machine in Camden, NJ, and starting as an order boy for the American Stores Co. he became manager of the Philadelphia store, later becoming general manager of the New Jersey Area.

In the 1930s, the old 36 barrel roof was traded in on a large L-shaped double monitor roof graft, then again for an L shaped c.1947 O’Mahony “arrow” style diner. With its dining room addition, this diner sat 200. The diner survived long enough to make it into the guide in the back of Richard Gutman’s “American Diner Then and Now”, but has since been replaced with a mansard roofed brick office.  It appears that part of the dining room or kitchen still stands. photo EastMain.jpgA big thanks to Ed Engel for bringing the 1960s article to my attention. I’ve been searching for info to fill the gaps on the English Diner chain for years!

Delaware Diner, c.1976

 

Here’s a vintage slide from my collection. I don’t know the location of the diner, but there are some clues in the photo I’m working off of. First is the sign that says “Delaware SPCA”. That places the diner somewhere in Delaware. There is a sign that says “Bay Bridge, Rt 13 – 301”.  These two roads, both routes to the bridge, come close to each other near Newark, DE. The photo is 1970s, evidenced by both the cars, and the presence of the reproduction Liberty Bell on the back of the truck. Near the diner, there is a motel, a Shell station and a Gulf station.   Anyone remember this stretch of road or have any ideas? photo delaware.jpg

Paramount Diner Interior – NJ

Another old photo from my collection. This came from a lot of photos from a postcard company. It has the file number on the print, and on the back, but no location, name or caption.  There’s Taylor pork roll on the menu board, so a New Jersey location is a safe bet.  photo Image13-Copy-Copy.jpg

The Riverview Diner – Harrisburg, PA

The Riverview Diner was located at 4105 Front Street, Harrisburg, PA. It appears to have been delivered by O’Mahony in 1946, although the diner is a prewar design and was probably placed in the early 1940s. It was owned by Davis S. Reed, who also owned the Handy Diner and the Palace Diner. The diner was removed from the site in 1990 and a Taco Bell was built in its place. The diner was restored, shipped over the Atlantic, and set up in Covent Garden, London, England as part of the Fat Boys diner chain. Here it is in that location. In 2001, it was again relocated, this time to the Bybrook Farm Garden Centre, Canterbury Road, Kennington, Ashford, Kent, UK. Pics from its current location.

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Photo courtesy Susan Holly Nichols
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