Roadside Ghosts: Indiana’s Abandoned 1950s Diner
From once serving delicious biscuits and gravy to travelers, to now sitting abandoned on the side of the road, these photos flawlessly capture this aging treasure.
There's just something so beautifully tragic about seeing an abandoned building. I t's almost like seeing a ghost because in abandoned places you usually see time almost standing still. In the case of the diner in this article, what was once a place where family and friends gathered for a delicious meal, sits trapped in time while slowly being overtaken by nature.
Indiana's Abandoned 1950s Diner
In Clarks Hill, Indiana on U.S. 52 sits an old diner that looks like it jumped right out of a movie about the 1950s. This diner opened in the early 1950s as the Rose Haven Diner and continued to operate for more than 50 years under different names.
I had never heard of this diner until I saw photos taken by George LaPlante on Facebook. I reached out to George for more information, and while he didn't know the full history of the building, he did have memories of being a kid and stopping at the diner.
As a kid, traveling between Lafayette and Indianapolis my dad and I would always stop there either going to or returning from. The biscuits and gravy were always worth the stop!
According to Architectural Afterlife, the diner operated all the way up until 2010 when it closed down for good. There were many talks of potential ways the diner could be brought back to life, but none ever came to fruition. The building sat abandoned for nearly a decade when an SUV crashed into it. Journal and Courier described the crash as the proverbial "final nail in the coffin" for the diner.
Is There Still Hope For This Old Diner?
Obviously, after looking at photos of this diner, you can tell what an absolute 1950s gem this building is. It's like a time capsule almost. The most recent update I can find about this old diner is an article from Based in Lafayette that was written in 2021. In 2021 Shan Sheridan, CEO of Clinton County Chamber of Commerce had rallied people together to move the diner to a truck stop two miles away with hopes of eventually being able to fix the old building and find a permanent location for it.
I can't find any updates as to where that project stands now, or even if the project is still ongoing, but George did send me a few photos of how the diner looks today. With all of the nostalgia surrounding this old building, I certainly hope something can come through for it, because how cool would it be to see this old diner be brought back to life? I guess we will have to wait and see!
LOOK: Which movies were filmed in Indiana?
Gallery Credit: Stacker