Historical marker dedicated in Selbyville

April 7, 2015

An historical marker ceremony was held March 21 at Doyle's Restaurant in Selbyville by the Delaware Public Archives.

The marker reads, "First named Woody's Diner, after original owner Woody Sturgis, the factory-built Silk City diner car was brought to Selbyville from Patterson, N.J. in 1950. A label mounted inside the diner car lists its serial number as 5092. Fifty denotes the year in which it was fabricated, and 92 signifies that it was the 92nd Silk City car built that year.

The diner quickly became a welcome stop for those traveling on Route 113, as well as a gathering place for local resident and community groups. Most notably, meetings held at the diner by members of the poultry industry in 1951 led to establishment the Eastern Shore Poultry Growers Exchange, a broiler chicken auction which operated from 1952-69. Hosted in Selbyville and broadcast on three area radio stations, the exchange played an integral role in the transformation of the Delmarva poultry industry.

During that time the diner featured a bank of telephones on its back wall where poultry auction bids could be placed. The Sturgis family owned and operated the property until 1983 when was purchased by the Doyle family. An exterior roof was constructed above the dining car, and a larger dining room addition expanded the property.

The historical integrity of the diner car's interior remains largely intact, with only the vinyl on the booths having been changed. It is the oldest operating and best-preserved Silk City diner car in the state.

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