A step back in time
To the Editor:
I was just getting ready to rest in my Boston rocker when I spotted my 1949 telephone book. I picked it up and began to go through the yellow pages once again and this time, restaurants caught my eye.
Do you know that in 1949 that from Hanover to Canton, you good eat at 22, that’s right, 22 different restaurants, diners or cafes? Some towns had only one but today some of those towns have none. As a matter of fact, there is one town we don’t even have any more. I know you are probably curious where all the good places were to eat so I am going to tell you.
If you were in Hanover and you just couldn’t drive any further, then you could stop at the “Hanover 1817 House.” I don’t recall seeing any restaurant in Hanover recently, so I guess you will need to keep driving if you are hungry. When you got to Rumford, you had a whopping 13 places you could eat at. In no particular order, you could eat at the Chatterbox at 130 Congress St. I wonder what people use to chatter about?
In the Waldo St. part of town. you could go to the Corner Lunch at 39 Oxford Ave., Roy’s Cafe at 24 Oxford Ave. or at Wonder Lunch at 227 Waldo St.
Canal Street is not all that long but you could eat at Ralph l Blaikie’s, at the Eagle Cafe or at Joe’s Lunch.
Can anyone remember a restaurant at 135 Rumford Ave.? Well, The Fontaine Herman was a place you could eat at. There was also the Exchange Cafe at 8 Exchange St. and the Royal Cafe at at 35 Exchange St.
If you were on Congress Street, you could eat at Freddie’s Lunch or cross the street and eat at the Platter. As teenagers I can remember eating at the Platter with friends. You could get a burger, fries, and a coke plus leave a tip for about $1.25.
Now a soda cost more then that. Before we leave Rumford, we can’t forget the Madison Restaurant in East Rumford.
We are now off to Mexico and Ridlonville. I don’t know where Mexico ended and Ridlonville began but I guess it doesn’t matter anymore because Ridlonville has seemed to have disappeared. When you came into Mexico, the first place to eat was at the Chicken Coop on Bridge Street. The Chicken Coop is over 60 years old. The only ones not happy to see the Chicken Coop still there are the chickens.
There was also the Mexico Diner on Bridge Street. These were the only two restaurants I could find in Mexico at the time.
Now Ridlonville, that was a different story. Ridlonville didn’t seem to be very big but they had four eating establishments.
There was Davis’s Grill, the Gulf Diner, Eddie’s Cafe and Rose’s Lunch. Where did Ridlonville go?
If you didn’t get hungry until you got to Dixfield, then you could have eaten at the “Bluebird Luncheonette” on Weld Street or you could have hung tough and driven to Canton to eat at “A Country Plate.”
I guess that instead of being able to get a burger and fries on every corner in town today you can get pizza instead. The menus have changed a little and the prices have changed a lot but if you are hungry and don’t feel like cooking there are still plenty of places to eat at.
Maybe in a couple of weeks we can walk down memory lane once more and see what life was like 62 years ago.