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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

Do These Photos Say Cape?

I have a friend who was looking for some stock photos of Cape to use as headers on a web page. I started poking around and came up with these old and new photos that I think capture some of the spirit of the town.

The biggest challenge was finding pictures that would fit the exact format shape – a skinny horizontal.

Photographers HATE to shoot for shape

Photographers HATE going out to shoot for shape. We always figured that was a sign that the page designer was too lazy to work with the most story-telling photos on deadline. He wanted to dummy the page early so he could go home early.

Photographers, of course, believe that every photograph is perfectly composed. Some would express that conceit by printing their photos “full frame” with black borders that indicated that the picture had not been cropped. (Guilty as charged.)

Of course, as a guy who had to do his own layouts, I found that sometimes cropping the photo made the page look a lot better. It was OK if I did it; it was a mortal sin if someone else did it.

Photo gallery

Since I’m not exactly sure what my friend is looking for, I’ve pulled together photos that you’ve seen before and some that were in the pipeline. I’m curious to see what you think best says “Cape Girardeau.”

If she uses any, I’ll post the website address. As always, click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.


32 comments to Do These Photos Say Cape?

  • Great shots and they show Cape very well!…Kudos to you my man!

  • O S Fronebarger

    You have published so many great shots, it is difficult to narrow the field. But, not included in the above are: a wide angle shot of Central (and ND), the TAC dance at the bank lot, the midway at the fair, a panorama of the quarry, a portrait of Academic Hall, and, unfortunately, a wide angle of the flood wall. Surely others will add to the list.

    • Central posed a bit of a problem. To our generation, Central is on Caruthers St.; to the current generation, it’s out in West Jesus where you need a GPS to find it; to previous generations, it’s on Pacific.

      In the context of my friend’s website, I wasn’t sure the TAC dance would translate, although I considered it. I DID have an aerial shot of the quarry with the cement plant and river in the background. There was a couple of representative shots of the floodwall, but the shape was limiting in what I could use.

  • Harriett Smith

    I love The Common Pleas Courthouse. Your photo is majestic. To me it encapsulates the history and majesty of Cape.

  • Bunny Waddell

    These photos do say Cape! I would include Academic Hall and The Missourian.

  • I like all of those photos, but I just now realize that your web site doesn’t have a favicon.ico that says “Cape Girardeau History and Photos.” Talk about having to fit the exact format shape, though!

  • Burt Lehman

    Great photos and good memories. Ken you are a true professional. Thanks

  • Lynn Davidson

    Ken…this is so much fun from day to day looking at your work, but today I have been smiling and smiling…and living through history! They are all wonderful and will be shared with many friends and family!
    Thanks for what you do!
    Kay (Shivelbine) Davidson


    Ken, 60 great photos but I think #7 says “Cape” – the river, the “new” bridge, the barge and the great old buildings downtown – all in one fantastic shot.

  • Nancy Johns

    Ken, these pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing everyday…

  • penny hawkins

    Wonderful! The barge and the bridge…..and the night shot of downtown, Port Girardeau, with the courthouse in the background….My favs…

  • Oh, wow! What to choose? What to choose? They’re all so good! Okay, I’ll try. Favs–barge photos, downtown night photos with those gold lights (I feel the breeze from the river on my face..), night view of Emerson bridge, Dennis Schivally park w/ kids at bridge (I can feel the water between my toes..)..oh, Broadway at nostalgic!
    Too many! Too many! They’re wonderful! I know you were in a small aircraft for the aerial shots, but where on earth did you perch (or hang) for the rest of them??

    • Good photographers can set the self-timer on the camera, throw it up into the air, then catch it on the way down.

      Actually, my kid has bought some real estate shots from a guy who mounts a camera on a radio-controlled airplane. Think of it as a cheap drone without weaponry.

      I haven’t tried that yet. All of the high pix were shot from Ernie Chiles’ plane or from buildings. Nothing magic.

  • Ken, great shots! I graduated from College High in 54 and after a year at SEMO transferred to U. of Tenn. Knoxville. These photos certainly bring back a lot of memories although most were taken after I went off to college. I will forward the link to some of my classmates from 54.

  • Judi Coleman

    I didn’t want the pictures to ever end. I could have just kept going for hours. Ah memories! Very much enjoyed all of these pictures.

  • Pat Nothdurft Nichols


    Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent with all of us. The pictures were all wonderful, but being a bit older than you, I especially enjoyed the river and downtown scenes. Loved the night one of Port Cape Girardeau and the courthouse, also the night one from the courthouse looking toward the river. I am on my way to Teen Town!

  • Burt

    Is this the Burt that I used to live with in the early 70’s? Lived by the river, had 2 German Shephards.
    If it is I miss those showers under the gutter days.

  • Jane Ewan Paquin

    You make me waste so much time. With you help, I have created a wonderful photo file of “My Hometown, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. My mother bought a house at 334 South Spanish St., 2nd house from the old Cape bridge in 1955. We could watch the activity on the river from our kitchen window. Thanks again for the memories everyday.

  • Yvonne Miller

    These pictures are great–thanks so much – I forwarded them to friends-I know you put a lot of time in this–but we thank you.

  • Anola gill Stowick

    great photos, Ken!

  • David Dalton

    All great shots Ken. #11 the shot of Houck Field was my favorite. To me, Cape and college are synonymous – my dad taught up at the college and growing up that was really what Cape was all about IMO. Reminded me when we were Division 2, and we had Houck Field House shaking during basketball games!

  • June Bolen

    Enjoyed wandering through the pictures. I left Cape in ’63. Therefore, the Old Mississippi, riverfront, the old bridge, Broadway, and Wimpy’s were my favorites. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Bill Hudson

    Hi Ken,
    Wonderful job and collection. Enjoy all your input in the Tiger Newsletter.


  • Wow! It is hard to pick just one. In my mind, the pictures of the “old” river bridge, the river and especially the one with the barge being pushed by the tow-boat are what I remember. If your person is younger though, the new bridge would probably be more appropriate for their website. The night pictures of Broadway and the riverfront businesses are pretty awesome. I love that you have that photo of the old Wimpy’s, our turn-around spot when we were out “riding around” up and down Broadway on summer nights. Love the pic of Debbie Ebaugh and Leta Piper (I don’t know the driver) but maybe not so good for a web-site banner, depending on what the content is. The photos I enjoyed the most were the ones that were down on my eye-level, since I never saw Cape from an airplane. Thank you Ken, for all you have done and are still doing for our hometown.

  • Garrick Gaffigan

    Love the picture of Marquette, Lonestar, Buzzi… Can see my old office over by the solid waste transfer station. So very glad I don’t have to smell that every day.

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