MIFFLINTOWN - The larger-than-life sign that once tempted travelers off old Route 22 and into Zimmie's Diner for a piece of pie and a hot diner meal has returned to Juniata County. After being missing for more than 20 years, Zimmie's "Pie Lady" is now on display by the Juniata County Historical Society at the Tuscarora Academy Museum.
"Everybody remembers Zimmie's Diner," said Audrey Sizelove, president of Juniata County Historical Society. "It was a very popular place and a lot of folks have great memories of visiting there. Since the restaurant isn't open anymore, when we were offered the chance to acquire a piece of memorabilia, we really wanted it."
The sign was originally found by Reed Lebo, of Halifax, at a public auction he attended in Liverpool. Though the sign had no personal meaning to him, he found himself bidding on it, both to his and his wife's surprise.
The Zimmie’s Diner sign, right, featuring the lady holding a pie, has returned to Juniata County and is now on display at the Tuscarora Academy Musuem. A postcard owned by the Juniata County Historical Society, below, shows the sign at the diner in Mifflintown.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
"I saw this great big sign and I'm attracted to unusual stuff like that," Lebo said. "It wasn't even on the list of things they were going to sell that day. I decided to take a chance."
Lebo ended up purchasing the piece of Juniata County history for $70. When he learned just what Zimmie's Diner actually was, and what it meant to the community, he decided to contact the Juniata County Historical Society.
"I was told that Zimmie's was the place to go back in the day, but it's not there anymore," Lebo said. "I thought the sign should really go to a historical society where people can appreciate it. It belongs in a museum."
The historical society purchased the sign from Lebo for his original purchasing price of $70 and moved it to the Tuscarora Academy Museum.
"The sign has certainly generated a bit of a buzz," Sizelove said. "People are bringing their grandchildren and their friends in to see it. It really brings back a lot of memories."
Though the museum's regular hours ended in August, the museum is open to groups only by special appointment. To schedule an appointment, contact Sizelove at 436-5152 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Juniata County Historical Society, visit www.juniatacountyhistoricalsociety.org.