WILTON — Returning the Farmington Diner to its original state is a work in progress for owner Rachel Jackson Hodsdon.

The diner has remained where it was placed at the corner of Route 2 and Cemetery Road in East Wilton almost a year and a half ago. There didn’t appear to be much happening until recently, when Hodsdon hired Paul Taylor of Farmington to remove the roof.

Hodsdon feels this is a first step in bringing the diner back to its original state.
It will also help her deal with the tarps covering the side of the diner where the added-on kitchen was removed and supporting beams were cut during the move from Farmington, she said.

Hodsdon, who has applied and made it through the first phase of getting a Maine Historical Preservation Commission tax credit on her project, also felt it was one thing she could do without worrying. The commission would probably require the roof removed anyway, she said.

The funds for the tax credit encourage people to preserve by returning a percentage of what she invests if the diner is income producing and remains in business for five years, she said.

Not wanting to just rehab the diner but to bring it back to its original state, she now needs to get more history about the diner for the next phase to acquire the tax credit and to determine whether it actually is a Mountain View Diner built in Pennsylvania.

The answer to that may be under the corner cow catchers in the form of model numbers, Taylor said Thursday while working to repair a burned spot in the roof damaged by what appears might have been a grill fire. Instead of fixing the spot, additional roofing, actually four layers were added on — enough to fill one very large dumpster, he said. From the way it was fixed he estimates the fire might have happened in the 1960s, he said.

The diner may be moved soon, but likely will remain on the same lot, Hodsdon said. The mover, Jim Nickerson, would like to have his metal beams back. They were used to move the diner that cold February morning and have supported the diner since.

When he retrieves those, the diner will be turned to be in line with the road, she said.

The location is also still under consideration — whether to move it on to Route 2 in Farmington or leave it where it is.
She has started a business plan and that decision will be part of it, she said.

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Paul Taylor works on the original flat roof of the Farmington Diner at
its present location at the corner of Route 2 and Cemetery Road in East
Wilton. Four layers of roof have been removed as the first step in
bringing the diner back to its original state, said owner Rachel
Jackson Hodsdon.

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