Bill Fretwell's Streetcar Diner
Chatham, Virginia

By Henry H. Mitchell

Fretwell's Streetcar Diner

The small streetcar at the corner of Main and Depot Streets formerly served on the tracks of Reidsville, North Carolina, for Duke Power Company. Bill Fretwell bought the streetcar and brought it to Chatham in 1937 for conversion to use as a diner. Fretwell continued its operation through the 1970's. Like Burnett's Diner across the street, Fretwell's Diner was known for its delicious hot dog chili.

In 1982 the streetcar was sold to current owner Walter Whittle, who for awhile operated the establishment as “Streetcar Named Desire.”

In 1996 the streetcar was recognized for its historical significance by means of inclusion on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

This website is sponsored by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House.