While clearing debris after a Feb. 14 fire the nearly destroyed Hank Dietle’s tavern on Rockville Pike, volunteers who have donated time over the last two weeks to clean up the damage to the beloved 102-year-old bar found a 102-year-old copy of the Montgomery County Sentinel.
“When I saw that, I said ‘wow that’s something interesting,’” said John Bennaman, a regular at Dietle’s who has volunteer to help clean up the place after the fire.
The copy of the paper that Bennaman and others found is dated Feb. 18, 1916, the year the bar originally opened on Rockville Pike. Bennaman, a regular at Dietle’s with his father Dennis Bennaman, said he and several others found the paper while clearing debris in Dietle’s basement, which was mostly untouched from the fire that severely damaged the mostly wooden over century old general store opened by Edward Offutt in 1916. The tavern’s namesake Hank Dietle converted the general store into a bar sometime in the 1950s.