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Posts Tagged ‘Route 30’

When Retro Roadhusband were driving down Route 30 / The Lincoln Highway in Paradise, PA Sunday we were saddened to see that Jacob Zoon Hex Signs store was closed and the property being offered for sale.

jacob zook hex sign store closed realtor information

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Good news! I have just learned via a posting on the RoadsideFans website that Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum, which suffered a horrible fire last July is now back open for visitors!

Mr Ed's Elephant Museum Logo
Mr. Ed’s elephant collection began with an elephant given to him as a good luck gift on his wedding day in 1967 and turned into a museum that at the time of the fire, housed over 10,000 elephants and pieces of elephant memorabilia. Located on the Lincoln Highway between Chambursburg and Gettysburg, PA it has been delighting families and roadtrippers for years.

I am happy to report that the elephants that were able to be saved from the arson fire, in addition to the over 1000 elephants donated to the collection, are now on display at the reopened museum.  Also on display will be elephant sculptures hand crafted with pieces of elephants that had been salvaged from the fire remains. How cool!

Here is an article from the York Dispatch that elaborates on the re-opening of Mr. Ed’s Museum.

Consider adding Mr. Ed’s to your next RetroRoadtrip plan – and bring along an elephant – for good luck, and maybe as a donation to the new museum!

Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum
6019 Chambersburg Road
Orrtanna, PA 17353
(717) 352-3792

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Friends, your pal Mod Betty totally has a permanent case of wanderlust. Knowing that if we left the house today to have breakfast at the Frazer diner down the street in Malvern PA, I may not want to come back to the garage cleaning, laundering, floor washing waiting for us back home, I’m determined to stay put for at least a good portion of this beautiful Sunday. But I do recommend that you visit the Frazer diner  when you’re driving down Route 30  looking for an authentic diner breakfast, surrounded by a well preserved vintage diner interior.

Frazer Diner

According to that handy reference “Diners of Pennsylvania” (written by Lincoln Highway Scholar Brian Butko and Kevin Patrick) The Frazer Diner was established in 1929 and built by the Jerry O’Mahony Co, and is currently the only remaining example of an unaltered 1930s O’Mahoney diner. And wow, is the interior nice. The clock even works!

Frazer Diner Clock

I have a personal fondness for the Frazer Diner as Retro Roadsis and I ate here on a Boston to Lancaster road trip back in 1999. In Lancaster I was re-introduced to the musician who would later be known to you folks as Retro Roadhusband, and he and I now happily live within 15 minutes of this classic diner. I’ve got a picture of me in front of the diner from back then – I promise to post – and just so funny to think that when I was eating breakfast at the counter there all those years ago, I had no idea that my life would be so changed by that roadtrip and that I’d be living so close to  that diner, married to that guitar player. Cool stuff, in my book!

Frazer Diner Counter

Retro Roadhusband and I ate there late last November, when I snapped these photos. As you folks will know, I take pains to ensure that people don’t appear in most of my photos, but was still a bit shaken when I was reprimanded by the waitress for taking photos. Determined to work through that, I approached her after we had eaten and since we were one of the last couples in the diner, asked if I could snap a few shots, making sure that no people were in them, and she gave that the OK, explaining that some folks don’t like to get their pictures taken. (Like she has to tell me- I don’t like getting my picture taken at all!)

Frazer Diner FridgeOh, and don’t feel too bad for us slaving away at the Hacienda all day, the carrot in front of our nose is a trip to Shankweiler’s Drive In tonight, and they are America’s oldest drive in movie theatre.  What did I tell you? Glad my wanderlust is good for Retro Roadmap!

Update: I found the photo of me in front of the Frazer Diner 10 years ago en route to see RetroRoadhusband:

Frazer Diner 1999

Frazer Diner
189 Lancaster Ave
Malvern, PA 19355
(610) 251-9878

(I’ve tried to move the offical Google Map Marker for the diner, as its placement was wrong, but you can’t go wrong following the official Pennsylvania Retro Roadmap directions!)


Frazer Diner on Urbanspoon

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After I had such unexpected luck at the charming 222 Bowling Alley I decided to pop my head into a few more lanes that I passed on my Retro Roadtrip. None were quite as well preserved, but I did find this treat of a sign at the Lincolnway Bowling Alley in York, PA, visible from Route 30, The Lincoln Highway.

Lincolnway Bowling Sign

It wasn’t the best of picture taking days (see impending storm in post about the 222 Lanes) but this sign looks vintage, colorful and very well preserved! Click here to see a photo from i saw the Sign (& i am happy now)’s visit to the sign, to see more of the neon lit up, I just got the B!

Licolnway Bowling Sign
85 North Fayette Street
York, PA 17404
(717) 792-0113

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Road scholar and all around good guy Larry Cultrera of Diner Hotline polled his Facebook pals this week asking where he should go for breakfast. If Larry lived in my neck of the woods I would have directed him to Jennie’s diner, a classic vintage stainless steel beauty in Ronks PA, just outside of Lancaster. And with the less than satisfying oatmeal and soft-boiled egg turned hard that I just made for my breakfast this sunny Sunday, I should probably drive out there myself!

Air Conditioned

Built in the 1950’s (either 1952 or 1959 depending on the source)  the diner is a well preserved Silk City built diner, with a new stainless steel vestibule recently added for folks waiting for a seat.  The shiny diner is nestled right next to a farm on the historic Lincoln Highway, and it would not be unusual to spot some Amish folks passing the diner in their black buggies.

Jennie's Diner Sign Lancaster PA

The diner is open 24 hours and specializes in Pennyslvania Dutch cooking. The first time I ate at Jennie’s was a very late night “after gig” meal with RetroRoadhusband, where I was introduced to that Penn Dutch “delicacy” known as Scrapple. As my story goes, he ordered it, and soon after the waitress put a plate on the counter with what to me looked like a burned kitchen sponge laying on it. That was RRH’s Scrapple, and while he was delighted to see it arrive, I was pretty much scarred for life.

My recent visit to Jennie’s was between the the more civilized lunch and dinner hours, what some would refer to as the Early Bird Special time of day. The diner was nicely filled with couples and groups sitting in the vintage diner booths and there was a handful of chatting gentlemen sitting on the stools at the counter.

Decorated for Fall

I was told to sit anywhere I like by and I opted for the corner booth. I always try to sit in the corner booth if I can, since it gives a good view of the entire diner. And as I also always say, cowboys always sat in the corner so no one could shoot ’em in the back! You’re more likely to perish at Jennie’s from trying to finish the generous portions of  tasty food that comes with your meal, so no need to worry about cowboys.

Hand Printed Menu

I opted to order one of my longtime faves, chicken croquettes and not only did they come with mashed potatoes and gravy, but also one vegetable AND salad. Curious to try a local dish, I requested the lettuce with hot bacon dressing as my salad, and when it arrived with tons of dressing, crumbled bacon and bits of hard boiled egg, I knew that this was local, and not lo-cal!

Lettuce With Hot Bacon Dressing - Fattening?

My 2 giant croquettes arrived atop a mound of potatoes, covered with gravy and my side of cucumber salad. And I got a basket of rolls and butter while I was waiting too. Generous portions to say the least, and I did my best to sample all and finish the tasty croquettes. Food coma anyone?

The curved roof of the diner is bordered with framed photos of men and women in the military. When I questioned my friendly waiter he said that they were either customers of Jennie’s, friends, relatives of customers or local folks. When these folks come back from “over there” or wherever they are, they will be given a free meal at the diner.  I was touched by this gesture of support and hope that everyone comes home safe and sound.

It's an Honor

While I was leaving the diner I realized that the “artiste” in me always wants to get a photograph of the diner by itself, with no cars in the way. Then I realized that would be almost impossible with the bustling 24 hour/ 7 day a week activity at Jennie’s, so I snapped this happy busy scene. As famous diner painter John Baeder once said, the cars looked like baby piggies nestled up to the big mom pig for a meal. These little piggies certainly will get their fill eating at Jennie’s Diner!

A Full House

Jennie’s Diner
2575 Lincoln Hwy E
Ronks, PA 17572
(717) 397-2507

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