A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“A man is washing the car with his son. The son asks, ‘Dad, can’t you just use a sponge?‘“ (6/23)
“Don’t waste a moment of your life trying to be normal” (6/23)
“Dance like no one is watching. Because they are not. They’re checking their phones” (6/23)
“Dance like no one is watching. Because they are not. They’re checking their phones” (6/23)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/23)
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Entry from March 14, 2008
“On this site in 1897, nothing happened”

There are plaques and historical markers on many old places that explain the historical significance, but a parody of this is the sign: “On this site in 1897, nothing happened.” It is not known when or where this sign first originated, but it dates back to at least 1980.


Lone Star Cowboy Gear - Old West Signs
“On This Site in 1897 Nothing Happened” plaque
Solid brass - 1/8” thick x 3 1/2” wide x 9” long
Looks like an authentic historical plaque.
Model LS-1897 Price: $24.95

Texas Trading Post
History Sign-Fun Home or Garden Texas Decor
$19.99 $17.99
This metal sign is actually appropriate for anyplace in the world…
Measuring 11” x 4” and weighing nearly 1 1/2 pounds, this sign is made out of raw iron and resembles an historical plaque that you would see on the side of a building or in a courtyard or patio.
Simply stated, the sign reads “On This Site in 1897 Nothing Happened.”
There are two Texas Lone Stars on either side.  We think this is probably one of our favorite signs that we carry...very clever and definitely a conversational piece!

Mariano’s Restaurants (TX)
The small plaque on the front to Mariano’s Restaurant states that “ON THIS SITE IN 1897 NOTHING HAPPENED.” However, in 1972 things began to happen with the opening of Mariano’s Restaurant in Old Town Dallas.  We were there shortly after the opening and have continued to be there through the years.  We were there and saw the first margarita machine in action.  We were there when there was a band and a small dance floor in the area that is now the main dining room.  We were there when the first fajitas were served.  We were there to celebrate graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, and Cinco de Mayo.  Our square dance club was there to enjoy dinner before our club dances on many occasions.  Our best friends always knew where we would be and would meet us at Mariano’s.  We were there for quiet dinners for two. We were there as frequent diners and have enjoyed many free dinners.  We were there through several remodelings, updates, and renovations.  Thanks for the memories, Mariano!

We were there this last week many times enjoying our favorite dinners.  And now “ON THIS SITE OCTOBER 4, 2003—SOMETHING HAPPENED - MARIANO’S CLOSED!” But, we will be there when the new La Hacianda Ranch opens on Preston Road to begin a whole new era of happenings.

28 November 1980, Frederick (MD) News, pg. E1, col. 1:
Q: I understand that there’s an unusual plaque on the Burbank, Calif., building owned by TV’s Dick Clark. Can you tell us about it?—Johnny Grant, Santa Ana, Calif.
A: Yes. What makes it unusual is what it says: “On This Site in 1897, Nothing Happened!”

11 June 1984, Sacramento (CA) Bee, pg. C1:
Just outside the front door of Sunrise Bancorp is a small brass plaque that bears the legend: On This Site in 1897 Nothing Happened. 

21 June 1985, The Capital (Annapolis, MD), pg. 27, col. 1:
The plaque, found at an antique dealership in Virginia, reads “On this site in 1897, Nothing Happened.”

21 November 1989, Frederick (MD) News-Post, “Not everyone loves preservation,” pg. A13, col. 1:
Galena, Ill. (AP)—A quaint brass plate above the front door of Jim Holman’s century-old home in this historic town hints that his attitude isn’t quite in step with the preservationists: “On This Site in 1897, Nothing Happened.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (2) Comments • Friday, March 14, 2008 • Permalink


DO you have any idea on where i could purchase a mariano restaurant plaque?
i loved that spot!

Posted by biggerintexas  on  07/08  at  05:01 PM

What’s does that mean in 1897 nothing happened?

Posted by Art Ritter  on  12/31  at  09:26 AM

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