Reader Keith Robinson tipped me off about Fruitland having a railroad depot dating back to the Louis Houck days, but it took me some time to get around to looking for it. After a couple of false starts, I ran across this building that had stonework that looked a lot like the depot and headquarters building on Independence Street near Lorimier School. It was located, appropriately enough, on Depot Road.
I knocked on the door to see if the resident knew the history of the building, but nobody answered.
Remnant of the Cape Girardeau Northern
I sent a copy of the picture to Keith to confirm that I was at the right place.
He replied, “Yes, that is the old Fruitland depot of the Cape Girardeau Northern. As far as I know the depot was built in either 1905 or 1906 when the Cape Girardeau & Chester (a predecessor Houck railroad) entered Fruitland on the way to St Genevieve. The CG&C failed and the CGN came into being in 1913. It suspended operations in 1919, with the track being removed through Jackson, Fruitland and north in 1920. Houck wanted the Frisco to buy the railroad in 1912 – 1913, but the Frisco went into receivership before that deal could be put together. Had that deal been consummated, the Frisco probably would have developed the line to have a way to avoid the river route during flood times. In that case, the towns along that line may have gotten a boost to develop further.”
Keith pointed me to an excellent James Baughn blog in The Missourian that has lots of factoids about Southeast Missouri railroading.
I didn’t make it to the fancy opening of the 2014 Cape Girardeau Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit on April 6, but I did notice some strange figures lurking along Broadway on a recent drive. Monday night had a light rain falling, so I decided to cruise down Broadway to see if the nice glistening streets would give a different look to the seven sculptures placed along the street.
This one was located on the north side of Broadway, in front of KZIM radio and across the street from The Missourian. It took quite awhile for the right car to come down the street to make the work shine. I parked my car in the driveway of the old Federal Building so my headlights brighten up the front of the radio studio. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)
Between Sprigg and Frederick
I didn’t take notes, but this feels like the south side of the street between Frederick and Sprigg looking west.
Between Fountain and Middle
This piece is in front of the Sun & Tan Tanning Salon between Middle and Fountain. I parked my van in what would have been the old Rialto Theater alley and let my headlights illuminate this one.
In front of Annie Laurie’s Antiques
This spooky guy is in front of Annie Laurie’s Antiques and across from Shivelbine’s Music just east of Frederick.
Missed three of the seven
Cruising in the dark and rain, I missed seeing three of the seven. The Missourian listed the following locations for them:
- The north side of Broadway between Fountain and Lorimier streets
- The south side of Broadway between Lorimier and Spanish streets
- The north side of Broadway at the Pacific Street intersection
- The south side of Broadway between Sprigg and Frederick streets
- The south side of Broadway between Middle and Fountain streets
- The north side of Broadway at the Frederick Street intersection
- The south side of Broadway at the Vasterling Suites courtyard
Is it art?
The Missourian’s comment section was full of people grousing about the sculptures. Some questioned if they were art or junk.
I’ll leave that for the experts. I remember one of my photo profs at Ohio University looking at some pictures a student turned in. “These have to be art,” he said, “’cause if they ain’t art, then they’re pornography, and pornography is against the law.”