Support Ken

Click here to support Ken Steinhoff through your Amazon purchases.

Purchases made at Amazon.com from that link put 6% of the total transaction price in Dad's pocket at no additional cost to you. You're going to shop online anyway, right? Do it through Amazon.com to support this web site.

Or, if you'd rather just send him a random amount of money, you can do that too...







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.


Fishing and Big Spring

Scouts fishingI thought these youngsters might have been fishing at Capaha Park’s lagoon, but I’m not positive.

The boy in the Cub Scout uniform has a Pack numeral on his shoulder and a Cape Girardeau city strip. My first guess he was in my old Pack 8 sponsored by Trinity Lutheran School, but it looks like there is another number in front of the 8. Was there a Pack 18 in Cape? Click on the photos to make them larger.

A hat made for fishing

Scouts fishingIf this kid is half as prepared as his hat, he is a fish killer supreme. He’s equipped with poppers, flies, plugs and some leaders that are thick enough to land a whale.

Is this Big Spring in Van Buren?

Possibly Big SpriingThe reason I wasn’t sure about where the photos were taken was this one frame on the roll. You know how sometimes you can take a quick glance at something and feel almost sure you know what you’re looking at.

This has the feel of Big Spring at Van Buren.Those caves look a lot like the ones in a photo on the park’s website.

I wouldn’t think a bunch of Cub Scouts from Cape would be fishing there, but who knows?

6 comments to Fishing and Big Spring

  • john williams

    It is absolutely big springs in Van Buren. I recognize it after over 30 summers my family vacationed there. I brought my own kids and maybe this year I hope to bring my grandkids. My mother said that above the springs there used to be a waterfall there when she and her parents went there in the 1930’s. She has passed on but she said it used to belong to a farmer and they drove their car to the edge and camped there. They put food in gunny sacks and tied a rope to them. When thrown into the springs it kept it very cold.

  • Dick McClard

    I hope the youngsters had fun building fires, swimming and eating. I doubt if they had much luck with fish. My wife and I have floated Current River at least once each year for the past 45 years and have never seen any real quantity of fish come out of there. The young man in the foreground of the first photo is in costume like a hobo and the other youngster with the hat seems to be dressed like an older gentleman. Surely they were having fun playing make believe also.

  • Brad Brune

    Brune Time memory.

    Big Spring and much of the park were owned by the Robert Coleman Family. His wife was a Rose and they could have been the original owners. They would travel there from Van Buren to spend hot summers camping there for extended periods as it was along and difficult trip by horses and wagons. They sold the land and Springs to the state so it would be preserved.

    Coleman’s daughter was my wife Kathie Phillp’s beloved grand mother Mariam McSpadden – of the McSpadden funeral home and the old Standard Station in Van Buren. My wife’s family spent much time there her whole life and we continued after our marriage with our kids in the 70s and 80s. I took Nanny (Mariam) McSpadden on many long slow drives through the beautiful park looking for deer and listening egerly to stories of her childhood adventures and fond memories there.

    I saw many magical sun rises walking my dog and taking pictures of the fridged waters bursting through the mossy green rocks and catching the first rays of morning sunlight and creating the myserious steam and fogging up the whole valley. The great high rock cliffs above the Spring would catch the sun light reflecting through the rising fog and take on a mystical golden cast.

    Big Springs became and is a very special spiritual retreat for me – as it had been for the Native Americans for hundreds of years before me. It is no accident that I would be drawn back to that ancient and holy place as I believe I was there at that time too.

  • Elizabeth Seesing

    My parents graduated from Randles High School in 1939. I think there were sixteen in their graduating class and they all took a senior trip to Big Springs. I don’t think either of them had been very far outside Cape County and thought it was just marvelous. I remember Daddy talking about the highlight of the trip was seeing a white-tail deer. I didn’t get there until I was in my thirties and was impressed at the beauty of the springs and surrounding woods. It’s so great that they have preserved the area in its natural state. Certainly worth the drive.

  • Nora Reynolds Zimmer

    yes definitely Big Springs. I remember going there as a child on vacation. I was the last there when my son was about 8, and he is almost 40 now! I also have pictures of my grandparents there in the early 1940’s I would guess. and it looks exactly the same. a lovely place and with this reminder I believe I will be taking my grandsons there this summer.

  • Frank Sitze

    I remember Big Springs as I have been there several times. The first time was before the bridge was finished. My Step-Father carried me across walking on one of the beams. Was sure glad we didn’t fall off. We also rented a cabin on current River. Was a very interesting trip. we didn’t catch very many fish and the nights really got cold along the river. Think we used ever blanket that was in the cabin and I believe we got more for the second night. Was amazed how fast the tour boats would go by and not hit the logs underwater like we did.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>