Hines Tourist Home/Dinah's Tourist Home and Restaurant

462-64 N. Main St. as depicted on the 1937 Hopkins map.

462-64 N. Main St. as depicted on the 1937 Hopkins map.

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The site of 462-64 N. Main St. today.

The site of 462-64 N. Main St. today.

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Known Name(s)

Hines Tourist Home (Primary)
Dinah's Tourist Home (Secondary)
Dinah's Restaurant (Tertiary)


461 North Main St. Providence, RI (Secondary) (1947, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)
462-64 North Main St. Providence, RI (Primary) (1939, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952)

Establishment Type(s)

Tourist Home, Restaurant

Physical Status


Detailed History

The connected histories of Dinah’s Tourist Home, Dinah’s Restaurant, and the Hines Tourist Home reflect the challenges and realities of compiling information for The Green Book. Neither listing is quite right: there was no building at 461 N. Main St. and there is no one named Dinah associated with the property at 462 N. Main St. The confusion is also evident in the fact that the Hines Tourist Home was listed in 1947 and in 1957 at 462 N. Main instead of 461. In practice, the changing number probably did not matter, as signage or word of mouth directions would have helped visitors to find the site. 

Adding to the confusion was the shifting number of operations at this site. Mabel Hines and her husband, S.Wallcotte, a salesman, who owned the building, established several businesses in the 462 storefront and lived in the adjacent home at 464. The 1937 Hopkins Atlas map shows two side-by-side blocks that adjoin but are offset. While it is difficult to understand how the building fully operated, it seems that the northern part was residential and the southern part was commercial. 

As early as 1935, Mabel ran the Hines Beauty Shop. By 1938, she had closed the shop and opened Dinah’s Restaurant. By 1940, she had closed the restaurant and rented the space to Herbert M. Dennis, a barber. Alongside these businesses, Mabel also operated a tourist home in her house at 464 N. Main. These changing businesses are reflected in The Green Book’s listings, which shifted according to what Mabel was currently doing for the publication’s entire run (excepting the 1953 edition, which was probably an oversight). Within this evolving landscape, it is certainly possible that Mabel used the name “Dinah’s” colloquially or perhaps as a carry-over from an earlier business or another owner; further research may bring this information to light.

Keeping a business operating in the storefront at 462 proved to be challenging. By 1947, Dennis had closed his barber shop and the space was listed as vacant in the directories until 1952. It is unclear whether the space was actually vacant or whether perhaps Mabel and Wallcotte used it as part of their living space. Beginning in 1953, there is no listing for 462 at all, suggesting that the space had been absorbed under the 464 number. 462-64 N. Main St. fell outside the College Hill Historic District and as a result, the building was demolished in1963 as part of the redevelopment of the North Main Street corridor. The site is presently used for parking.


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