Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lorain Diner Part 3

Aerial view of Pueblo Drive businesses
The Pueblo (and later, the Gypsy Fiddle Inn) had been located at the very end of Pueblo Drive – right where Charles Akers Construction is now located at 4205 Pueblo Drive. And Lorain Diner had been just to the east of it according to the 1954 city directory listing. Could one of the buildings in the above photo be Lorain Diner?

I drove out there to try and find out.

I immediately eliminated from contention the large warehouse building (at the far left of the above photo) of West Side Tractor and Marine. It was simply too new and too big; it also appeared to have a newer poured concrete construction, with those telltale seams.

But what about the company's white headquarters building (at left)? It looked about the right size, and structurally resembled the diner in the photo.

A phone call to Drew Kreger, the owner of West Side Tractor and Marine, confirmed it: the white building was indeed the former diner.

He explained that his father had purchased the building in 1961 from Mr. Carnik, who also owned the Vanishing Beach Motel property across the highway. Drew also remembered that the outside of the building had originally been "a corrugated material of either tin or aluminum."

Drew's father – "Lee" Wesley H. Kreger – operated West Side Tractor and Marine for 49 years.

Drew also said that originally there had been a small house or shack to the east of the former diner building. It was located where the current warehouse for West Side Tractor and Marine now stands.

I'm guessing that the shack might have been the Peanut Stand mentioned as being to the east of Lorain Diner in that 1954 Lorain County Farm & Rural Directory listing (at right).

(By the way, the former "vacant house" in the directory is still there, just to the west of West Side Tractor and Marine. According to the Lorain County Auditors website, its current address is 4147 Pueblo Drive and was built in 1940. The listing for F. R. Kebberly apparently was for a trailer, as he is listed as a trailer owner elsewhere in that same directory. So that ties up all the loose ends.)

I thanked Drew for sharing his information and reminisces with me. It's always nice to get the story from someone who knows!


Drew Penfield said...

Nice work, Dan!

Dan Brady said...

Thanks, Drew. It's one of the rare cases in which I research something and actually come up with a conclusion in just a few days!