Back in the 1950s, when Route 60 was one of the main arteries across the state and country, there was a truck stop and diner in Globe that served those traveling and hauling goods along the road. The Garvin Diner was built in 1954, according to JoAnn and Gary Back, who currently own the building.
The Backs bought the building in 1970, and ran an antique business out of the location for a while, until they decided to close the shop several years ago. Now Gary, who still deals in antiques through private appointment with clients, uses the shop for storage, get togethers with friends, and as a workshop for repairing antique items like his current project, the neon clock that once graced the top of the building.
The Backs knew the history of the building well. What they didn't know, however, was the treasure that the attic of the building had held all this time – a collection of black and white photographs of truck drivers and other patrons of the business glued to large sheets of plywood, with many of the drivers posing in front of their vehicles. While some of the people and businesses featured are local, others were of folks from outside the region and simply passing through.
Gary found the photos while working to run electricity to the buildings' bathrooms, which he recently renovated to give them an inside entrance instead of their original exterior entrances. He climbed into the attic to run the electric and found what he described as a "cubby" built up there, using the plywood with the photos to form the walls of the structure.
'They had boards nailed across it,' he said, explaining how some of the photographs on the board were destroyed or damaged. 'But, at least they didn't throw it away.'
As avid local historians and antique collectors the Backs knew they had something special, so they shared the photos to a Facebook page dedicated to local Olive Hill area history. Since then, JoAnn said, they have had several people comment, with a couple telling them they recognized old friends and relatives from the photos. That, they explained, is exactly what they were hoping for.
Some of the photos have dates and names on them, while others don't, but they all provide a glimpse back through the years to an earlier era.
Though the location on Route 60 is no longer open as a business, the Backs said they are more than willing to allow those interested in looking at the photos to stop by when they are in the old diner, or to schedule a time to stop by.
"I feel it's like a time capsule that we just opened up," JoAnn said enthusiastically.
Those interested can view the photos or contact the Backs through the "Memories of Olive Hill, Kentucky" Facebook page.
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